Footbridge Gives Animals Safe Passage On Highways


It’s very common to witness animal vehicle accidents on our highways. The roads are built through the natural habitats of many animals. These accidents lead to plenty of damage that Engineers at the University of Montana have come up with a lifetime solution to. The engineers are building overpasses similar to footbridges and underpasses similar to tunnels that the animals can use when crossing the highways.

The project kicked off after Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes were approached by Montana Department of Transportation with a suggestion to widen the US highway 93. The highway goes through the Flathead Indian Reservation. The tribes insisted that in order to preserve the spirit of the land, then the wildlife in the land had to be protected from harm.

The segment that is 56 miles has 41 fish species and wildlife underpasses and overpasses. Another protective measure has been installed to avoid future accidents on the highway. The uses of the underpasses and overpasses have become more accustomed according to a recent study conducted by researchers. Animals use the bridges more often; the current number of animals using the bridges is tens of thousands. The engineers say that the project is also economically viable as it’s cheaper in the long term to build structures than to clean up accidents caused by animals. 

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