ADOT Wins Award for Wildlife Safety Projects

Elk, Grand Canyon | Tammy Simpkins

Highway improvements designed to protect Arizona's wildlife from passing cars (and vice versa) recently won the Arizona Department of Transportation a national environmental award, the department announced last month.

ADOT, of which Arizona Highways is a subsidiary, and partner organization Animal Road Crossing Solutions received the Environmental Excellence Award for Excellence in Environmental Leadership from the Federal Highway Administration.

The award stems from projects along State Route 260 east of Payson and on U.S. Route 93 near Hoover Dam. On SR 260, the department collaborated with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, among other agencies, to construct wildlife underpasses and elk crossings on the highway. More than 15,000 crossings by 16 species of animals were recorded at six underpasses over a seven-year period, the department said.

On U.S. 93, the agencies created three overpasses utilized by more than 4,300 desert bighorn sheep over a two-year span, ADOT said.

"ADOT has a long record of innovative and successful wildlife accommodations as part of construction process," ADOT Director John Halikowski said, adding that while ADOT is not a wildlife-management agency, it partners with other agencies to protect wildlife and reduce collisions with vehicles.

To learn more about the awards, click here.

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