News Mar 11, 2024

Making Roads and Habitats Safer: Supporting Clients on New Wildlife Crossing Pilot Program

We worked with our Department of Transportation clients across the U.S. to secure grants through the Federal Highway Administration’s Wildlife Crossing Pilot Program.

From planning and permitting through to design, construction and operation, we deliver innovative and cost-effective environmental solutions at every phase of the project lifecycle.

That’s why we’re especially proud that our wildlife crossing specialists directly supported the grant applications for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program to improve safety on America’s roadways by preventing wildlife-vehicle collisions.

FHWA recently announced the organizations that will receive funding as part of this new pilot program  –  aimed at improving habitat connectivity and improving safety on America’s roadways by preventing wildlife-vehicle collisions – and our clients are at the forefront. 

Our team directly supported grant applications and led studies supporting several of the winning projects, including the California Department of Transportation District 5, who will receive $8 million to reduce wildlife vehicle collisions and connect animal habitats between protected state park lands on either side of U.S. 101. 

This effort is part of the Gaviota Pass Wildlife Connectivity and Vehicle Collision Reduction Project and improvements will include increasing the size of an existing culvert and installing 2.5 miles of fencing, allowing wildlife to safely cross the highway and move to the adjacent Gaviota State Park and Los Padres National Forest. 

In addition, our clients Douglas County and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) were allocated $22 million for the construction of a specialized overpass on I-25 between Denver and Colorado Springs, the two most heavily populated cities in Colorado. Once completed, the Greenland Wildlife Overpass will be one of the largest overpass structures in North America, spanning six lanes of interstate highway. This overpass will play a crucial role in mitigating vehicle collisions involving big game species like elk and mule deer along I-25, while also connecting vital habitats on both sides of the highway spanning from the Great Plains to the Rocky Mountains. 

Improving safety and reducing wildlifevehicle collisions on its roadways is nothing new for CDOT, though. Its I-25 South Gap project, which Jacobs designed, is one of the largest wildlife mitigation systems in North America. The project, which improved 18-miles of roadway south of Denver, also included four new wildlife crossings and 28 miles of deer fencing which together are anticipated to help decrease animal-vehicle collisions by 90%. The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Colorado named the I-25 South Gap Project as one of its 2023 Engineering Excellence Award winners.

Our work supporting our clients in preparation for the Wildlife Crossing Pilot Program is just one example of how we promote nature-based solutions and initiatives aimed at protecting and preserving the precious wildlife and their habitats for future generations.

About environmental solutions at Jacobs

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Spanning nearly 40 countries worldwide, our nearly 7,500 environmental and sustainability consultants, scientists and engineers help clients understand their environmental responsibilities. Together, we develop and implement pioneering solutions that create a positive impact for people and the planet. 

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