More wildlife fencing for Highway 82

By Real Aspen
July 21, 2010
The Colorado Department of Transportation has begun another project to install wildlife fencing along a stretch of SH 82 that sees a high incidence of wildlife-vehicle collisions.

The project begins where the first phase ended— at mile marker 11 — and extends up-valley to mile marker 16. The work will include the installation of more than 40,000 linear feet of 8-foot-high fencing on both sides of SH 82, between mile markers 11 and 16 (east and west of Carbondale). The project will also involve construction of 10 wildlife escape ramps. The escape ramps provide deer and elk — trapped within the wildlife-fenced highway right of way — a better means to cross back over the fencing to escape the highway and vehicles. The earthen ramps are six feet high and constructed into a cut-out in the fence, on the highway side. Animals can run up the one-way ramp and jump back down to safety.
Finally, the project will construct 11 deer guards (like cattle guards, but built wider) at several accesses along both sides of SH 82. CDOT works in coordination with the Division of Wildlife in implementing these mitigation projects.

TRAVEL IMPACTS - Through the project’s completion by November 19, eastbound (up-valley) travel will have no interference from 6 AM to 9 PM; for westbound (down-valley) travel, there will be no interference from 3 PM to 6 PM. All other times, Monday through Friday, motorists may encounter single-lane closures on either side of the highway. Drivers are encouraged to drive with caution and go “Slow for the Cone Zone” during the work. Those having questions or comments about the work may contact the project information hotline at (970) 274-0704.

The fencing project was contracted to Waterford Corporation for $1.24 million; the total amount of FASTER (Funding Advancements for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery) funding received for this project is $1.62 million, which includes design costs. Another wildlife fencing project, for SH 82 between MM 16 and 21 (Basalt area), has received $75,000 in FASTER funds for design. Additional funding for construction and a project start date has yet to be determined.

*Monies collected under the FASTER Safety Fund are to be used for construction, reconstruction, or maintenance projects that the Transportation Commission, a county or municipality determine are needed to enhance the safety of a state highway, county road, or city street. www.coloradodot.info/projects/faster.
For information about other CDOT projects, the public may log on to CDOT’s traveler information web site at www.cotrip.org or call 511 from anywhere in the state.


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