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Utah officials thrilled to see animals using highway wildlife overpass

CNN logo CNN 11/27/2020 By Leah Asmelash, CNN
a dog standing next to a fence © From Utah Division of Wildlife Resources/Facebook

In an effort to reduce accidents involving wildlife on a busy highway, Utah officials got creative: they built a bridge. New video shows the plan has been a success.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources built the bridge back in 2018 over Interstate 80 to reduce traffic accidents in Parleys Canyon caused by wandering animals. Last week, the agency released a video of the bridge in use -- aiding moose, porcupines, deer and even bears across the busy highway.

"It's working!" officials posted on Facebook. "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!"

Video: See Utah's highway wildlife overpass in action (CNN)


The overpass is filled with rocks, boulders and logs, giving wildlife a welcome alternative to the six lanes of traffic on I-80.

Wildlife typically needs time to adjust, and state officials didn't think there would be such success so soon. Last year, John Gleason, a Utah transportation department spokesman, told CNN affiliate KSL that it might take years for wildlife to start using the bridge.

"We're seeing results, and it's an unexpected success to see results this early," he said in 2019.

CNN reached out to UDOT for further comment, but did not immediately receive a response.

a bridge over a body of water: The overpass has boulders, logs, and other natural features. © From Utah Division of Wildlife Resources/Facebook The overpass has boulders, logs, and other natural features.

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