Technology preserving wildlife migration and protecting drivers in Golden

Posted at 11:25 PM, Jan 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-14 01:25:33-05

GOLDEN, Colo. -- The City of Golden is using technology to save Colorado wildlife, and possibly drivers like yourself on the road.

Right now the city is using a fence to funnel elk into one crossing spot which is also the path of their natural migration across US 6 near 19th Street.

The elk trigger a sensor alerting lights to strobe, warning drivers about their presence.

Eliza Wesse drives that route frequently and worries about wildlife.

“My sister had close calls with elk and other wildlife before, so it’s a good idea knowing that really won’t be a problem for me,” said Wesse.

Will Lowery thinks it’s a great idea because it preserves the elk’s natural migration pattern and habitat.

“I guess that is a good thing because since I was a kid they’ve been migrating right through that field in Golden so I’ve seen that my whole life,” said Lowery.

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) installed this crossing back in 2010 after 30 crashes the previous year.

In 2011, wildlife-related crashes dropped down to just seven.

The numbers gradually crept back up as people started ignoring the crossing, so in 2015 Golden added strobe lights to catch attention.

As a result, there were no crashes between cars and wildlife at that spot during all of 2016.

This is part of a larger plan by CDOT to preserve those natural migration patterns. CDOT is even adding wildlife overpasses and underpasses in parts of Colorado.


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