In 2018, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) built the bridge over Interstate 80. It initially aims to reduce traffic accidents in Parleys Canyon caused by wandering animals.
The overpass is 320 feet long and 50 feet wide (97.5 meters by 15.2 meters). It’s filled with rocks, boulders, and logs, enabling wildlife to cross the busy highway safely.
“It’s working!” DWR officials posted on Facebook on November 19. They also shared a video showing all the wildlife using the overpass.
You can watch the video here.
Moose, porcupines, deer, and even bears are currently using the highway bridge, both at the daytime and nighttime.
“Thanks to the Utah Department of Transportation and Utah State University for monitoring the Parley’s Canyon wildlife overpass this year. As you can see, the 2nd year of this overpass has been successful at helping wildlife safely migrate over busy Interstate 80 and helping motorists be much safer as well. Please keep off of this overpass. Thanks!”, the official said.
Not only is the bridge protecting wildlife, but it’s also keeping drivers safe. It helps them reduce the risk of colliding with wildlife trying to cross over the I-80.
Before Canyon’s highway bridge was constructed, it was reported that there were around 100 wildlife and vehicle accidents over a 2-year period on that particular stretch of highway. Since then, very few accidents have been reported.
“The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) recently installed a camera system on the overpass as well. Detailed statistics are not known yet, but will be next year. Deer have been the most frequent user of the overpass,” Scott Root, the Conservation Outreach Manager at the Utah DWR said.
“UDOT and DWR were pleasantly surprised at how many animals have used the overpass over the first two years of the overpass’ completion,” he added.
Root also shared that the DWR and the UDOT would work together on future crossings just like Canyon’s highway overpass. Looking forward to hearing more good news from them!