Washington state officials have announced the plans to construct the first animal overpass.
According to the Department of Transportation, the construction will be a 150-foot-long structure built over the freeway.
The purpose of it will be to protect the wild animals when they try to cross over the interstate. The overpass will be a safe passage for the animals, since many of them get hurt and killer when trying to cross over.
The officials are hoping that the construction of the animal overpass will ready until 2019.
Patricia Garvey-Darda, a biologist at the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, talked about the initiative calling it remarkable.
Darda added that the goal of this over pass it to allow the animals to have access to their entire habitat and not be restricted by the highway.
Some consider this project as the starting point of future initiatives meant to help the animals in areas that are usually full of traffic.
The project will involve the building of more than 20 overpasses and underpasses that will help the wildlife move faster and safer from one place to another.
While underpasses already exist, this would be the first overpass that gets built in this area.
These types of constructions are equipped with cameras that document the transit of wild animals like coyotes, deer and otters.
Authorities hope that this would not be the only animal overpass that will get built, as they believe at least two more are needed to provide safety for the wildlife.
This type of structure has proven its efficiency in other areas as well.
For example, in Montana officials have recorded approximately 20,000 crossings made by 30 species of wild animals.
The Banff National Park in Canada is also one of the places where thousands of crossings have been recorded.
The highways have been responsible for both restricting the habitat of many species of wild animals as well as for killing many of them.
Jen Watkins, a researcher at the Conservation Northwest and the I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition, believes that animals need to be able to move on the landscape and if they are prevented from doing it, they cannot find food, mating partners and new habitat when the conditions are changing.
Although Interstate 90 is a lifeline that connects people and economies from different regions, for wildlife it’s a very dangerous place, often the cause of their death.
But the construction of the animal overpass will hopefully make a difference.
Image Source: ecorazzi