I-70 wildlife fence project complete
Aspen, CO Colorado
EAGLE COUNTY, Colo. – The Colorado Department of Transportation and contractor Double D Construction LLC have completed installation of nearly 100,000 feet of wildlife fencing along a 33-mile stretch of Interstate 70, between Gypsum to Dowd Junction.
The $1.89 million project included removing existing state right-of-way fence where necessary, installing wildlife fence between mile marker 140 and mile marker 173, and installing signs on U.S. Highway 6.
Crews also constructed median crossovers, which involved removal of 12 feet of concrete safety barrier in two separate sections (at mile markers 171.5 and 172.5) and installation of guardrail in these areas to allow animals both large and small to cross the interstate.
Finally, a total of 58 wildlife escape ramps were constructed – four of which were funded by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. The one-way earthen ramps are 6 feet high, located where a notch in the 8-foot fence has been cut, allowing animals to escape the highway right of way and jump back to safety on the other side.
For the five-year period from 2002 through 2006 (the most recent data available), there were 361 wildlife-vehicle collisions out of 1,996 total crashes, meaning wildlife-vehicle collisions accounted for about 18 percent of all collisions along this stretch of I-70. The percentage varies from year to year and is higher during the wildlife migration season – generally October through February.
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Pitkin County administrators are proposing a more than $142 million budget for 2020, which is about $6 million less than this year because of fewer construction projects and capital improvements.