CDOT Proposal Would Add Safe Wildlife Crossings to Colorado Highways
The Colorado Department of Transportation wants to put more than road signs warning motorists of wildlife crossing the highway.
The proposal would make it possible for wildlife to avoid crossing the highway by creating designated crossings over or under the highway.
CDOT has already built some of these innovative crossings along a 10 mile stretch of Colorado State Highway 9 south of Kremmling. It's a section of highway with one of the highest number of vehicle-wildlife collisions in the state.
Since the installation of the crossings over or under the highway in 2015 and 2016, animal-vehicle collisions along that section of highway have decreased 87%.
A drive from Silverthorne through Kremmling on the way to Grand Lake this summer gave me an opportunity to see and experience the crossings, including how wildlife fencing is used to help guide animals to the crossing. It's simple and based on my drive, incredibly effective.
Right now, the wildlife crossings are included as part of $220 million of proposed improvements statewide.
If you're wondering if it's worth spending extra money on these special crossings, consider that in 2016 State Farm Insurance found 1 in 263 crashes in Colorado were collisions with wildlife. Those crashes resulted in two fatal and 400 injury accidents.