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Federal Highway Association Awards Arizona $24-Million Fund Projects To Help Reduce Crashes Involving Wildlife On I-17

The Federal Highway Association has awarded Arizona a $24-million grant for a wildlife overpass and other improvements designed to reduce crashes involving wildlife and better connect habits along Interstate-17 south of Flagstaff. The area earmarked for funding is along nearly eight-and-a-half miles of I-17 between the Munds Park traffic interchange and the Kelly Canyon traffic interchange to the north. In addition to the I-17 wildlife overpass, which is planned for the Willard Springs area, the project also will include new eight-foot-tall wildlife fencing tying into existing culverts, ramps to help wildlife escape fenced areas and double cattle guards at interchanges. It will connect with a Game and Fish project that will retrofit wildlife fencing along 6 miles of I-17 south from Munds Park that directs wildlife to two existing large bridges. The nearly 15 miles covered by these two safety projects account for 58-percent of crashes involving wildlife between 2018 and 2022 between Stoneman Lake Road and Flagstaff. In this over 31-mile stretch, around three-quarters of all crashes between vehicles and wildlife involve elk. A projected start date will be determined in the coming months.

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