WYDOT applies for Recovery funds
Funding for Wyoming Habitat Connectivity Initiative for wildlife over and underpasses in Sublette County
by Wyoming Department of Transportation
November 8, 2011
The Wyoming Department of Transportation has applied for federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) discretionary grants to fund the Wyoming Habitat Connectivity Initiative in Sublette County.
TIGER grants come from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and are filtered through the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Wyoming Department of Transportation District 3 has applied for a $20 million grant with a 20 percent match from WYDOT to continue work on the Connectivity Initiatives.
This year’s application for TIGER III funds will go to subsidizing the same kind of work on U.S. 189 in Sublette County near Dry Piney Creek.
WYDOT District has already completed work on several projects under the Connectivity Initiative including the Nugget Canyon project on US 30 near Kemmerer and the Trapper’s Point project on US 191 near Pinedale. At Nugget Canyon during 2003-2008, underpasses, a bridge, and fencing improvements were completed as part of the initiative.
In addition, a $10 million effort is currently underway at Trappers Point, adjacent to the proposed Dry Piney Creek project. Work at Trappers Point includes construction of fences, underpasses and overpasses, and associated work to improve wildlife connectivity. Completion of the project is slated for the end of the 2012 construction season.
Human safety improvements are a key priority of these projects as well. Collisions involving striking or attempting to avoid wildlife are significant in the corridors where these projects occur. Associated injuries, property damage, and even potential loss of life can be avoided by the support and completion of the Connectivity Initiatives.
"This money goes a long way to keeping travelers and wildlife safe on our roads," District 3 Engineer John Eddins commented.
In a 2007 report to Congress, the Federal Highway Administration stated that appropriately placed wildlife crossing structures and associated fencing have been shown to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions by more than 80 percent.
During 2006 to 2010, on the Dry Piney Creek Section, crashes involving property damage of $1.6 million occurred.
In addition to vehicle versus animal collisions, solo vehicle and vehicle versus vehicle incidents caused by animal avoidance are expected to diminish. These improvements will reduce property damage and human injury and loss of life.
Fortunately, the features in this project have been proven to reduce wildlife versus vehicle incidents by 80 percent. It is estimated that this project will save approximately $27.9 million in wildlife losses, vehicle damages, and injury to property or persons over the 50 year project lifespan.
The proper applications and forms have been submitted by WYDOT are currently under review by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
For more information on WYDOT projects, go to www.dot.state.wy.us.