MESA, Ariz. (KSAZ) - Recent improvements along Bush Highway have made it safer for drivers, but it's also made it more dangerous for Salt River wild horses that have been living in the area for hundreds of years.
According to the Salt River Horse Management Group, new guardrails are trapping the horses, and at night the roadway is very dark and just within the last week, several horses have been hit and killed.
The Maricopa County Department of Transportation has been working with the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group for a solution and starting today, several changes are happening, including new message boards warning drivers to slow down, new rumble strips as you approach horse crossing signs, and painted "watch for horses" signs on the asphalt.
🐴Horse Crossing:— Brian Acosta (@BAcostaFox10) May 18, 2018
More horses are being struck & killed by drivers off the Bush Hwy. The Salt River Horse Management group and the Maricopa County Dept. of Transportation say additional changes are in being put in place to save these stallions. @FOX10Phoenix #Fox10Phoenix pic.twitter.com/WvLj9TweIg
All of these changes are just he beginning and the Salt River horse group wants a long-term solution, such as radar-triggered flashing lights.
Many Valley residents use Bush Highway to get to Saguaro Lake, or to connect to State Route 87 to travel to Payson.