New wildlife bridge opens near Oracle
ORACLE, Ariz. (KSAZ) - A multi-million dollar overpass just opened up north of Tucson, it's not for people, but for wildlife. It's located in Oro Valley along Oracle Road, and it's a six lane highway that has seen its fair share of animals being killed. The goal, to keep both drivers and animals safe.
Just north of Catalina State Park you'll find the new overpass on SR77. Although it may look like a nice addition to your morning walk it's surrounded by chicken wire, because it's not for you, it's for wildlife.
Cameras caught two deer crossing the newly opened bridge that taxpayers in Tucson approved in 2006. $9.5 million was the cost of the overpass to be used solely for wildlife. Game and Fish officials say it's proven to work.
Officials cite a crossing built for sheep in Kingman back in 2011 and structures across the US and worldwide that help cut down on accidents.
Mark Hart with Game and Fish says it will help grow and maintain populations for animals near SR77. They hope the crossing will help the populations of mountain lions, sheep, and hopefully more deer.
More than 200 animals died on the stretch of road in 4 months. It's dangerous for animals, but also for people behind the wheel.