Utah officials were delighted that the wild overpass was working

Posted by Leah Asmelash CNN

To reduce wildlife accidents on the busy freeway, Utah officials were creative: they built a bridge. A new video shows that the plan was a success.

The Utah Wildlife Resources division built the bridge over State 80 in 2018 to reduce traffic accidents caused by migratory animals in Parleys Canyon. Last week, the agency released a video of the bridge in use, helping moose, pork, deer and even bears on a busy country road.

“It works!” officials posted on Facebook. “Thanks to the Utah Department of Transportation and Utah State University for watching Parley Canyon wild overpasses this year. As you can see, the 2nd year of this overpass has successfully helped wildlife migrate safely on the busy 80s interstate line and has been much safer for motorists as well. Please keep this overpass away. Thanks!”

The overpass is full of rocks, boulders and logs, which is a welcome alternative to wildlife for the six lanes of I-80 traffic.

Wildlife usually needs time to adapt, and government officials didn’t think it would be such a success so soon. Last year, John Gleason, a spokesman for the Utah Department of Transportation, told CNN’s affiliate, KSL, that it could take years for wildlife to start using the bridge.

“We are seeing results and it is an unexpected success to see the results so early,” he said in 2019.

CNN contacted UDOT for further comments but did not receive an immediate response.