Natasha Lovato / News Break Denver
(Douglas County, Colo.) In an effort to decrease animal related car accidents along the I-25 corridor, The Colorado Department of Transportation will begin work on a wildlife fencing project.
Now until December, CDOT’s work includes concrete panel rehabilitation, deer guard installations and wildlife fencing construction. The project work zone is located along northbound and southbound I-25 from east Wolfensberger Road in Castle Rock to Lincoln Avenue near Lone Tree.
Chuck Attardo, CDOT's I-25 South Corridor Environmental Manager, explained that based on a CDOT research published in 2017, wildlife fence projects reduce wildlife vehicle collisions by 90%.
“That's our goal for this project. We would save at least 10 elk or deer a year, prevent costly damage to cars and trucks, reduce the number of people that are injured when they strike an elk or deer, and probably save at least one human life,” Attardo said.
Daytime working hours will focus on building wildlife fencing, guardrails, and two deer guard installations at Happy Canyon Road. Nighttime working hours will primarily be dedicated to roadwork patching and will begin in late April. Drivers can expect overnight lane closures from 7 p.m. - 5 a.m. Sunday through Friday until December. Notice will be given for any lane closures and can be found here, or drivers can sign up for mobile alerts here.
The lane reductions may slow traffic and cause congestion but are not anticipated to cause major delays. Attardo expects that the benefits of the project will outweigh any hindrances.
The concrete rehabilitation will improve the road surface to create a safer travel path for motorists, and the wildlife fencing and deer guards will significantly reduce the number of accidents related to animals crossing the interstate. Additional wildlife fencing projects are expected to occur along I-70, US 285 and I-76 as well.
Motorists should expect to slow down as they approach the work zones, drive with caution, allow extra space between vehicles and give themselves extra travel time.