The Highway Overpass In Utah Is A Major Success, And Many Wild Animals Using It To Avoid Danger!

One of the most incredible and entrancing things I learned this past year was how great watching videos of animals crossing bridges is. They have a calming effect. They facilitate our slowing down. In addition to that, they illustrate the natural world that is located immediately surrounding us.

On November 19, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR), which is responsible for protecting the state’s flora and fauna, published a video on their website showcasing the remarkable Parley’s Canyon Wildlife Overpass as well as the various species of flora and fauna that use it. The Division could not contain their elation as they exclaimed, “It’s working!”

According to Scott Root, the Conservation Outreach Manager at the Utah DWR, they gave Utah State University the trail camera video of the overpass this year so that they could begin a statistical study of the usage of the overpass. This was done so that they could better understand how often people use the flyover. The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) recently installed a camera system on the overpass. The specific numbers have yet to be available but will be within the following year. He indicated that deer have been the overpass users most frequently.

According to Root of the Utah DWR, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and themselves will collaborate to construct future crossings like this one. However, it is still too early to know about potential wildlife overpass locations or specifics, so we must exercise some patience for now.

According to Root, “UDOT and DWR were pleasantly surprised at how many animals have used the overpass over the first two years since it was completed.” He also mentioned three miles of wildlife fencing on both sides of Interstate 80 near the overpass. These fences help direct animals to the overpass, which makes it possible for them to migrate safely.

On that specific stretch of highway, there were reports of close to one hundred different wildlife and car collisions over two years before the construction of the flyover. According to Root, hardly any accidents have been reported since that time.

The overpass is 97.5 meters long and 50 feet broad (15.2 meters by 15.2 meters), is now in its second year, and has been assisting wildlife in their migration over the extremely busy Interstate-80. Its dimensions are 320 feet in length and 50 feet in width. Remember that the Department of Water and Wildlife (DWR) confirmed these measurements, as there have been varying estimates of the length and breadth of the overpass posted online.

The first wildlife overpass in Utah is receiving a lot of use from a wide variety of four-legged residents, including bobcats, bears, squirrels, deer, and even some moose-like animals that look extremely strange. The cameras positioned on the bridge itself filmed the entire real-life fairytale as it unfolded before them. The wildlife that attempts to cross Interstate 80 is protected by the overpass, as are the drivers below, who are prevented from getting into accidents as a result of the presence of the overpass.

Now, not only has the project attracted the media’s attention, but it has also gained significant interest on websites such as Reddit and Imgur.

Constructed in 2018, the overall project cost 5 million dollars, and it was a purchase that was more than justified. It is difficult enough to place a figure on the life of a single animal, much less an ecosystem that contains such a wide variety of species.

According to the findings of one study, between the years 1992 and 2002, 61.15 percent of all collisions in Utah took place on just 10 routes. This merely illustrates how relatively minor adjustments to the physical environment at critical locations can have enormously beneficial consequences.

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