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U.S. DOT provides $22M to build wildlife overpass on I-25 in Douglas County

Kahuna elk
Posted at 9:10 PM, Dec 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-01 23:10:03-05

DENVER — The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is providing $22 million to build a dedicated wildlife overpass on Interstate 25 between Denver and Colorado Springs.

The Greenland Wildlife Overpass Project in Douglas County will help connect habitats on both sides of the highway via a wildlife overpass over I-25. This will reduce car crashes with wildlife, especially animals like elk and mule deer, while protecting both the drivers and fauna.

When this is complete, it will be one of the largest wildlife connectivity projects in North America.

Watch out for wildlife crossing highways

Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet said the overpass will connect 39,000 acres of big game habitat.

"I urged the Biden administration to support natural infrastructure projects in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and I’m pleased Douglas County and CDOT will receive this funding," he said.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said Colorado is known for its amazing wildlife and outdoor spaces.

"We are working to protect both for generations to come," Polis said. "As a community, we are leading the way when it comes to wildlife crossings, saving people money and improving safety in the process. Thanks to the support of Colorado's federal delegation, local communities, and CDOT's dedicated environmental teams, we are excited to move forward with the Greenland Wildlife Overpass."

Improvements Planned as Part of I-25 South Gap Project

The exact location of the wildlife crossing was not immediately available, but it will be in the Greenland Open Space area.

This is one of 19 projects the DOT is funding through the Wildlife Crossing Pilot Program, which was created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The Greenland Wildlife Overpass Project is one of many projects in Colorado focused on helping wildlife get around busy highways.

In December 2020, a new wildlife mitigation project in southwest Colorado was announced to create multiple features to keep both wildlife and drivers safe along a stretch of U.S. Highway 160. It was completed in November 2021.

Over the years, advocates have pushed for safe wildlife crossings over Interstate 70 as well.

A map showing Colorado wildlife crossings is available here. It was last updated in July 2021.

Polis signed Senate Bill 22-151 Safe Crossing for Colorado Wildlife and Motorists Act on June 1, 2022. The bill created the Colorado wildlife safe passages cash fund for CDOT to use for these projects.