Car collisions with deer is a serious issue and Nevada is aiming to spend $14 million dollars trying to avoid them.
Over the past few years there has been more than 200 car collisions with wildlife in Nevada, specifically in the Pequop Mountains in Elko County. The Transportation Department and the Nevada Wildlife Department are now planning to build two more bridges over Interstate 80 to add to the other six found across the state in order to avoid car collisions with wildlife.
$14 million dollars has been allotted to this project, which some are criticizing as unnecessary when the money could be used for other issues in Nevada.
“For $14 million you can build quite a bit,” said Gov. Brian Sandoval. “I get that this is an important project, but we have limited money and a lot of needs.”
The Pequop summit has one of the biggest mule deer migration in the state and this wildlife bridge is ultimately for motorist safety. A study from University of Reno Nevada shows that the other six wildlife crossings in Nevada have helped 26,000 mule deer avoid the road and potentially, collisions.
“There are both documented animal hits that have caused injuries and/or fatalities, but there are also a lot of run off the roads that are suspiciously in areas where we know there are a lot of animal crossings,” said John Terry, the Transportation Department’s assistant director of engineering.
The bridges will be 200 feet long with fencing to corral the deer to cross the bridge. The crossings are expected to be finished in 2017.