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This bridge ensures wildlife can cross the highway safely2 min read

December 8, 2020 2 min read


This bridge ensures wildlife can cross the highway safely2 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Here’s a riddle:

Q. Why did the elk cross the bridge?
A. Because the good people of Utah made it especially for the animals to cross safely above 6 lanes of traffic on Interstate 80. 

This 50 feet wide and 320 long overpass was completed by the Utah Department of Transportation in 2018. https://kids.wordsmyth.net/we/?ent=motorist

Why was this bridge created?

This idea was developed because of increasing number of collisions between animals and vehicles. From 2016 to 2018 more than 100 animals were killed in such road accidents on that road section due to the migratory pattern of the animals. This prompted the state to take a step towards the protection of both, the animals and motorists on that stretch.

Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources has observed that this overpass is safely being used by all kinds of animals such as cougars, deer, porcupines, moose and even bears! 

Though another three to five years of study will reveal exactly how useful this overpass has been, the results so far have been very encouraging. The animals seem to be getting used to the overpass.

The benefit of this overpass has extended to the motorists as well with a notable decline in the number of accidents caused by animals crossing the road. 

What is a little upsetting though is that despite repeated warnings that the overpass is exclusively for animals, some people have been found using the overpass which puts both, animals and humans at risk. Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources continues to work towards raising awareness regarding the same.

Owlivers’s Obscure Observations:
It is interesting to note that a similar bridge has been built in India as well. The 27 meter “Eco Bridge” has been made in Uttarakhand after a series of reported deaths of small animals and reptiles after collisions with vehicles.

Made entirely out of bamboo, jute, and grass this bridge is expected to help reptiles and small animals to cross a stretch of the busy highway safely. Officials are also growing creepers and grass on the bridges to attract the animals and reptiles. The bridge is also attracting many tourists making its famous selfie stop!

This is a wonderful example of harmony amongst all of earth’s inhabitants!
Doesn’t that make the world a better place?!

Think with Owliver:
Think about instances where the way humans live harms animals. How can we make better choices, like the bridge, to ensure peace for all?
Let Owliver know in the comments below!

Image sourced from Smithsonian Magazine