Federal stimulus money in the 2010 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) created an opportunity for financing. When the call went out for shovel-ready projects, the Idaho Dept of Transportation submitted a proposal to build a wildlife underpass at milepost 18.2 on Hwy 21. If funded, it would become a long-term solution for reducing vehicle-wildlife collisions on part of this road.
The Dept. of Transportation received $550,000 for the wildlife underpass. A few months later another $200,000 from the ARRA was applied toward building the wildlife fence, which is estimated to cost $450,000 to complete. The citizen-agency group is currently fundraising and writing grants to raise the remaining $250,000 needed to complete the fence.
Construction of the wildlife underpass begins July 2010. It will be the first road in Idaho retrofitted to protect people and to protect wildlife.
More road construction information can be found on the ITD web site.
Constructions plans for the wildlife underpass and fence incorporate countless details and interests. The design has to work for motorists, wildlife, the budget and for other people using the area, such as bicyclists and anglers. The Department of Transportation (ITD) staff drew up plans to accommodate these different and sometimes conflicting interests.
The plan calls for a 75-foot free span girder bridge at milepost 18.2. Motorists will drive over the bridge; wildlife will move under it through a 15 foot high and roughly 30 foot wide opening.
In addition, an 8 to12 foot high big game exclusion fence is to be built paralleling Hwy 21. Approximately 1.0 miles of fence on the west side and 1.65 miles on the eastside will help keep big game and other wildlife off Hwy 21 and guide those animals to safe crossing locations. The fence design includes one-way escape jump out ramps for deer, elk and other wildlife caught on the wrong side of the fence. Access gates for maintenance purposes and recreationists are also being installed in appropriate locations.
The fence crosses several popular routes used by bicyclists, anglers and hikers, especially around the turn-off for Spring Shores. Push/Swing gates are being installed in these locations to allow recreationists to continue to use these areas.
Road construction work will begin in early July 2010 though preliminary work is already underway, such as sighting the wildlife fence.
While the bridge is being built, the plan calls for two lanes to be kept open using a temporary shoe-fly. This would shift traffic away from the construction area and reduce traffic delays. Lanes constructed within the shoe-fly will be a minimum of 11 feet wide.
The bridge is to be completed by October 2010 and at least half of the fence finished in September. The wildlife underpass will be ready when elk and deer migrate into the area in the fall of 2010.
|HQ Processing, Advertisement and Award||01.25.2010|
|Submittal and Approval of SWPPP/ESCP||05.18.2010|
|Mob & Traffic Control Set-Up||07.09.2010|
|Traffic Diverted to Detour||07.27.2010|
|Bridge Construction Begins||07.28.2010|
|Wildlife Fence (west side) Completed||08.26.2010|
|Bridge Construction Completed||09.24.2010|
|Traffic Switched to New Bridge||10.01.2010|
|Wildlife Underpass Excavation Begins||10.02.2010|
|Underpass Excavation Completed||10.10.2010|
|Open Ground Stabilized, Fertilized, Seeded||10.10.2010|
|Most Traffic Control Signs Removed||10.10.2010|
|Seeding Completed / Last Traffic Signs Removed||10.15.2010|