Wildlife bridges and underpasses led to a dramatic decline in animal-related car crashes, according to Mark Lawler, a biologist for Colorado Department of Transportation.
The five underpasses and two overpasses that cross Colorado 9 south of Kremmling have reduced wildlife related crashes by almost 90 percent, Lisa Schwantes communications manager for CDOT said Thursday.
There are more than 30 passages, which vary in construction, across the state of Colorado, only two of them cross over the highway.
“They’re extremely important,” Jeff Peterson, wildlife program manager for CDOT, said. “When you get into conflicts with wildlife that raises the issue.”
Statistics obtained by CDOT show that from 2006 to 2016 on U.S. 160, in the area between Durango and Bayfield, there were 472 car-animal collisions, a large number of them involving mule deer.
According to Lawler, the number could be higher, however, since vehicle-wildlife collisions are often underreported.
An underpass crossing U.S. Highway 160 between Durango and …