Animals

Infrastructure Bill Aims To Cut Vehicle-Animal Collisions With $350 Million For Wildlife Bridges

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America’s roads are about to get safer. Not reckless drivers or speeders, but rather deer, elk, moose and all other types of wildlife creatures.

Of Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, $350 million is earmarked for building bridges, tunnels and other crossings for wild animals to traverse, under and around busy roads. Experts say it will save drivers a lot of money, too.

animal crossing

Across the country’s 4 million-mile road network, there are currently only 1,000 wildlife crossings. Compared to the Netherlands, where 600 crossings serve only 80,000 miles of road, it’s clear that the US may finally be on the verge of accelerating.

“We can’t tackle every mile of the highway, but we can take care of a lot of areas that seriously impact wildlife populations,” Rob Ament, director of road environment at the Western Transportation Institute, told Vox last month. While the price tag may seem big, the data and history show a cost Not Improving animal infrastructure is more costly:

  • A three-year Federal Highway Administration study published in 2008 found that car crashes cost an average of $6,000 in total expenses (medical bills, car damage, etc.), while crashes with large elk and bananas are More expensive.
  • Overall, the study found that road accidents in America’s wildlife average 1 million annually, killing thousands of people and animals, and costing an average of $8 billion annually.

Including wildlife crossings in the infrastructure bill is not only to satisfy PETA, but also an investment in the public sector
safety. And it’s been proven to work over and over again.

Moss paths: A series of tunnels and roadside fences installed along Interstate 30 in Wyoming reduced crashes by 80%, with success increasing over time as animals adapted to the new safe passage, offsetting construction costs in just five years, according to a study. conducted in 2012. Meanwhile, a $5 million flyover was constructed over I-80 in Utah in 2018, resulting in similar decreases in collisions.

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