Video reveals cougars, bobcats, bears, and moose using a new $5m crossing over an interstate notorious for roadkill.

Parley's Canyon Wildlife Overpass

  • Utah's $5m animal crossing has been hailed a success after a Facebook video posted by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources showed various wildlife species using it across a busy interstate.
  • The Parleys Canyon Wildlife Overpass extended over the I-80 highway in Summit County, Utah, near Salt Lake City and was first opened in 2018 by the Utah Department of Transport (UDOT).
  • The 350ft long and 50ft wide overpass was built after 46 deer, 14 moose, and four elk were killed on that  stretch of the highway in 2016 and 2017 alone, according to USA Today.
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Utah's $5m animal crossing has been hailed a success after a Facebook video posted by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources showed diverse wildlife species using it across a busy interstate.

The video was captioned: "It's working! 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 this overpass. Thanks!"

The Parleys Canyon Wildlife Overpass, extends over the I-80 highway in Summit County, near Salt Lake City.

The 350ft long and 50ft wide overpass was built after 46 deer, 14 moose, and four elk were killed on the stretch of the highway in 2016 and 2017 alone, according to USA Today.

Animal deaths can also be expensive for drivers with elk accidents costing roughly $25,319 and moose accidents as much as $44,546, according to research from the Western Transport Institute.

The overpass at the Parleys Canyon summit is the largest but second animal crossing in the state after the one built near Beaver, southern Utah in the 70s over the I-15, Atlas Obscura reported.  

Meanwhile, the largest wildlife overpass in the world is expected cost $87m, stretching across 10 busy highway lanes of California's 101 Freeway and open in 2023, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

The Wildlife Crossing at Liberty Canyon will be an estimated 200ft long by 165ft wide and provide safe passage to Los Angeles' cougars, in particular, who may vanish from the area in less than 50 years. 

Overlook Rendering of the Wildlife Crossing at Liberty Canyon
#SaveLACougars

Beth Pratt, Regional Executive Director of the National Wildlife Federation and Leader of the #SaveLACougars Campaign told Insider: "The crossing is being designed to reconnect the entire ecosystem, and will be a living landscape with native vegetation.

"Much of the existing species in the area will benefit, from bird to bobcats to lizards to coyotes. But the mountain lion has the most critical need, with the National Park Service research demonstrating they are threatened with extinction in the near future — their genetic diversity is collapsing due to the landscape fragmentation."

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