Nevada Department of Transportation — I-80 Pequops Wildlife Crossing Project

Animal-vehicle collisions result in a yearly average of over 500 reported crashes in Nevada. These collisions cost Nevada taxpayers over $19 million annually, while causing both human injuries and fatalities as well as the loss of wildlife. Along Interstate 80 near Pequop Summit in rural northern Nevada, such collisions posed a major threat to both human and animal safety. To reduce their frequency, Nevada DOT constructed two new wildlife overpasses and 20 miles of fencing. This $18 million project involved integrating six existing structures into the fencing layout and connecting the new fencing to two low-use vehicle underpasses and four medium cattle underpasses to provide an additional six crossing opportunities for wildlife through the entire 10-mile corridor. The wildlife fencing was terminated at two of the cattle underpasses to allow for one last additional opportunity for safe passage before animals encounter the interstate surface again. By reducing habitat fragmentation with these wildlife crossing improvements, it helps to increase the population of numerous species through access to limited resources and protect endangered species. This project also impacted the local economy. With the appropriate permits, cattle can be moved across these structures between various grazing allotments by ranchers, reducing the risks and costs associated with moving cattle across the interstate, potentially saving tens of thousands of dollars for local ranchers. The long-term economic benefit comes from a reduction in costly animal-vehicle collisions, infrastructure damage, human injuries and fatalities, plus preservation of wildlife near and around Pequops Summit.