Should The U.S. Build More Wildlife Bridges?

As part of future-focused infrastructure efforts, many people are concerned with improving the sustainability of our infrastructure as well as it’s structural integrity. Sustainable infrastructure means more efficient and ecofriendly buildings, which can save a great deal of money and environmental risk, but it also means improving our capability to coexist with wildlife as we expand our human habitat.

Wildlife bridges that cross our own transportation systems are just one example of sustainability in infrastructure. States that are investing in these crossings are doing a service for their local wildlife populations, but they’re also creating new construction projects and job opportunities for the industrial sector. Washington has recently joined the few other U.S. states that have made such investment, including Colorado and Montana.

Washington state to break ground on wildlife bridge over major highway | Reuters

Image Source: Wikimedia

Image Source: Wikimedia

Image Source: Wikimedia

“The new bridge, which will take about four years to complete, will be one of two scheduled to traverse the interstate highway, which is undergoing a $1 billion revamp along a 15-mile (24-km) stretch to improve safety and widen the corridor to six lanes from four. About 27,000 cars and trucks use that stretch of interstate each day, according to transportation statistics. The wildlife bridge will accommodate large animals, like black bears and elk, as well as smaller species like salamanders, as they shuttle across the highway looking for food and mates, authorities said.”

Do you think more areas of the U.S. should also be investing in this type of transportation project? As the new crossing project is underway in Washington, do you think other states will follow when the benefits become apparent?

Share your thoughts in the comments.