Creating a Safe Passageway for Wildlife While Reducing Collisions

Challenge

La Plata County in Colorado topped the list for the highest number of wildlife vehicle crashes in the state. Data showed that 58 percent of all crashes along US Highway 160 between Durango and Bayfield, Colorado, were wildlife-vehicle crashes. There were also a high number of single vehicle rollover accidents in this area. With more than 9,000 vehicles traveling this stretch of highway each day, the project team implemented a unique solution.

Solution

A 37-foot wide, 13-foot tall wildlife underpass was constructed underneath the highway. The precast concrete structure has a natural earth bottom directing animals safely to each side of the busy highway. Crews installed 10,700 feet of wildlife fencing with eight escape ramps to further deter wildlife from the highway. The underpass is the first of 24 recommended large mammal crossings along the highway.

Features

  • Widened shoulders
  • Wildlife fencing
  • Wildlife underpass
  • Drainage
  • Roadway construction

Project Name
US 160 Wildlife Crossing

Location
Durango, Colorado

Client
Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT)

Services

  • Construction services