More wildlife fencing for Highway 82 | AspenTimes.com

More wildlife fencing for Highway 82

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE – An extension of wildlife fencing along Highway 82 near Carbondale is now under way.

The Colorado Department of Transportation has hired a contractor for the project, which will extend fencing along a stretch of the highway that sees a lot of wildlife-vehicle collisions, according to the agency.

The new fencing begins where the first phase ended – at mile marker 11 – and extends upvalley to mile marker 16. The project includes the installation of more than 40,000 linear feet of 8-foot-high fencing on both sides of Highway 82 for a four-mile stretch both to the east and west of the Highway 133 intersection at Carbondale. The previous project put fencing between Carbondale and Glenwood Springs.

The latest project will also involve construction of 10 wildlife escape ramps that provide deer and elk that become trapped within the highway right of way a means to escape. The ramps are 6 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 outside the fenced highway corridor.

Finally, the project will include 11 deer guards (like cattle guards, but wider) at several accesses along both sides of Highway 82, according to CDOT.

The work is scheduled to finish by Nov. 19 and won’t interfere with upvalley traffic during peak morning commute hours or downvalley traffic during peak afternoon travel hours. At other times, Monday through Friday, motorists may encounter single-lane closures on either side of the highway.

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The project is funded by state FASTER moneys (Funding Advancements for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery). Waterford Corp. has a $1.2 million contract to build the fencing and associated elements. The total cost of the project, including design, is about $1.6 million, according to CDOT.

Another wildlife fencing project along Highway 82 in the Basalt area has received $75,000 in FASTER funds for design work. When that project will be funded and built has yet to be determined.

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