Nevada points $5M at wildlife crossings

Nov. 7, 2023
Investment aims to alleviate $19 million in annual costs from collisions with animals.

The Nevada Department of Transportation and Department of Wildlife have been given $5 million by the state to build wildlife crossings over public roadways over the next 10 years.

An article in the Las Vegas Sun said the state already has 20 such crossings, and it has six of the 22 bridges accommodating wildlife crossings in the United States. One such bridge, over Interstate 11, was built in 2018 for $1.6 million to aid bighorn sheep in the area. Since the bridge was completed, no collisions with the sheep have been report, according to the article.

According to NDOT, more than 500 crashes involving domestic and wild animals are reported annually, killing more than 5,000 animals and accounting for $19 million in crash costs. Safety crossings are passages above or beneath roadways that are designed to increase road safety and reduce collisions by redirecting wildlife out of the way of oncoming vehicles.

What are the benefits of wildlife crossings?

According to NDOT, wildlife crossings:

  • Help prevent human and animal injuries and deaths caused by vehicle-animal collisions and drivers swerving to miss an animal
  • Help reduce costs of vehicle, property and infrastructure damage caused by vehicle-animal collisions and crashes caused by drivers swerving to miss an animal
  • Preserve healthy wildlife populations by reducing animal deaths and injury caused while crossing roads
  • Preserve access to natural wildlife habitat and migration corridors for wildlife
  • Foster wildlife biodiversity and reduce habitat fragmentation which hinders genetic diversity and health among wild animal populations

NDOT is working with the Department of Wildlife to create a list of priority locations for new crossings, then evaluate them to then develop a list of long- and short-term projects.

Additional funding would come from grant funding such as the Wildlife Crossing Pilot Program, whereby the Federal Highway Administration allocates money for projects that reduce collisions and improve habitat, according to the article.

About the Author

Rod Sutton

I have served as the editorial lead of Construction Equipment magazine and since 2001. 

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