Target: Tracy Trulove, Colorado Department of Transporatation’s Communications Manager
Goal: Applaud creation of wildlife underpasses and overpasses along busy highway.
Wildlife and motorists are now protected along a busy section of a highway due to a progressive decision to install natural wildlife crossings. This 10-mile stretch of road has killed about 60 animals a year and 16 people within in the past 20 years. This wildlife corridor will connect wildlife habitat and reduce the risk of animal collisions. Thank the Department of Transportation for implementing and approving this remarkable project.
Located in northwest Colorado, Highway 9 has taken the lives of nearly 500 animals in two decades. Wildlife, especially mule deer and elk, cross the road to reach the Blue River. The road separates the prime winter range for these special creatures. Nearly 7,000 mule deer live in the Lower Blue River Valley and this species accounts for about 90 percent of animal casualties on Highway 9.
The project hopes to create two wildlife overpasses and five underpasses. Further construction will also widen the road’s shoulder, making it easier for emergency vehicles and cyclists to travel. The project will also straighten deadly curves and flatten steep hills, creating a safer road for motorists. The wildlife underpasses will be wide, natural passages underneath the road. The overpasses will be 75 to 100 feet wide and lined with 8-foot-tall fences. The overpasses will also be comprised of natural brush and vegetation to lure wildlife over the road. These natural corridors will not only benefit elk and deer, but also other creatures of the Lower Blue River Valley such as the bobcat, cottontail rabbit, wild turkey, and quail.
Construction has already started for this multi-million dollar project and will continue for the next two years. This is the first project of its kind in the state of Colorado. Thank Colorado’s Department of Transportation for implementing this progressive plan to save Colorado’s precious wildlife.
Dear Ms. Trulove,
The construction of wildlife corridors along Highway 9 is a progressive project that will save the lives of animals and motorists. This highway has killed 500 animals and 16 people within the last 20 years. I want to thank the Department of Transportation and its partners for protecting Colorado’s residents and wild creatures.
Seven thousand mule deer live in the Lower Blue River Valley. Highway 9 is a major obstacle for both mule deer and elk; the highway bisects their habitat and their access to the Blue River. These natural overpasses and underpasses are a remarkable project for the state of Colorado and I hope other states follow in your footsteps. Please continue to make Colorado a safe home for our wildlife.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: State Farm