Under Road Passages for Wildlife Save Human Lives as Well.

By now most of us have seen the video of the Coyote and Badger hanging around with each other. One video showed them going under a road in a culvert and the other showed them in a pasture. Those under-road passages for the animals are common throughout California and I suspect most other states as well. They offer the animals safe passage to the other side and many take advantage of it. The roads are large enough to allow the passage of farm equipment and vehicles. Crossing the main highways in rural areas is extremely risky, it’s where two cultures collide.

This young Coyote has never seen a highway let alone an under-road passage.

I mean that literally there exists one culture on the Freeways, I’m thinking Hwy 99 and Interstate 5 through the San Joaquin Valley; farm country. Most of the travelers on the highway are traveling between large cities Los Angeles and San Francisco not realizing the dangers of equipment crossing the road. I worked with a Lady in the Central Valley whose father was struck and killed crossing 99 driving a tractor.

Some of the tunnels pass under Interstate 5 and the California Aqueduct which are located next to one another in many places. They have most likely saved many human and animal lives since they have been installed.

I’m sure many snakes make use of the under passes as well.

But many others are located on less known roads, Vasco Road passing through the Diablo Range from Brentwood to Livermore has many of them. One interesting aspect of them is they are far down in valleys passing under the road 50 feet or more below grade. Many of those appear to be full size passes, they service mostly grazing land. When Cattle move they move together as we all are aware in a herd. They all try to pass through a gate, or in this case an opening all at once most likely the reason for their size.

They are through out the world not only passing under the roads but some are overpasses as well. Green-ways have been created on Bridges over major highways, they are built to mimic the natural environment.

Besides saving the animals lives (as well as farm-workers) it makes traveling safer from animals being struck with a possible multi-vehicle collision occurring. Drivers will dodge a large animal that suddenly jumps in front of them, it’s a natural reaction. One of our Daughters did just that landing upside down in a canal after dodging a large dog. The CHP told me at the scene most people landing in that swamp don’t make it out, we were fortunate.

The video of the Coyote and Badger was really neat to watch, the article I read said cameras monitor some of them. Wouldn’t it be interesting to set up a camera outside of a passage just to watch the action over a few days?

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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