In the United States, animals struck by vehicles on our roadways account for around $8 billion in damages every year. Canada has a novel idea: create animal overpasses to help the animals safely cross major thoroughfares without being injured or killed. What’s great is that a recent study proved that these overpasses actually work! The animals are happily using them.
It’s been such an effective solution that now Washington State is constructing its first wildlife crossing. Last Tuesday, Washington State Department of Transportation crews started constructing the state’s first overpass, which will be a 150 foot wide bridge surrounded by native trees and planted with vegetation that forest animals are accustomed too.
“This is really a remarkable effort,” said Patricia Garvey-Darda, a biologist with the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. “The goal is to connect all the species and all the habitat.”
Florida, Montana, and other states have also taken on constructing similar animal crossings. So far, there are 44 in Canada.