PROMO Animal - Mule deer buck - USFWS - public domain

Colorado gets $22M for I-25 wildlife crossing

Mule deer buck - USFWS - public domain
Sara Wilson

(Colorado Newsline) Colorado will receive $22 million from the federal government to construct a wildlife overpass on Interstate 25, one of the largest grant awards from a program aimed at reducing collisions between cars and wildlife as they attempt to cross roadways.

Colorado is one of 17 states to receive money for 19 projects, and the state’s Department of Transportation will construct the Greenland Wildlife Overpass Project in Douglas County over six lanes of the highway. When completed, it will be one of the largest overpass structures in North America, according to the Federal Highway Administration, and connect habitats for elk and mule deer on both sides of the roadway.

Wildlife crossings include structures like bridges and tunnels that are specially designed to help animals avoid human-made barriers such as major highways. The federal government estimates over 1 million collisions between cars and wildlife occur every year.

“As a community, we are leading the way when it comes to wildlife crossings, reducing traffic jams and improving safety in the process. Thanks to the support of Colorado’s federal delegation, local communities, and the Colorado Department of Transportation’s dedicated environmental teams, we are excited to move forward with the Greenland Wildlife Overpass,” Governor Jared Polis posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

The money for the project comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which President Joe Biden signed into law in 2021.

“The Greenland Overpass will connect 39,000 acres of important big game habitat, reduce roadway hazards, and help keep both Colorado drivers and wildlife safe,” U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, said in a statement. “I urged the Biden administration to support natural infrastructure projects in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and I’m pleased Douglas County and CDOT will receive this funding. This is what it looks like to invest in America again.”

A map maintained by state agencies, but last updated in July 2021, shows 65 wildlife crossings in Colorado. That includes eight along I-25.

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