Washington state combats collisions with new wildlife bridge

SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. (AP) — Washington state is finishing construction on its largest wildlife bridge.

The structure emerges from the forest and rises above Interstate 90 east of Seattle. It’s aimed at allowing elk, bear, wolverines, deer and other animals to safely cross the highway.

Project spokeswoman Meagan Lott says the area was determined to be a migratory route for animals going between the mountains and lower elevations. The new bridge is part of a 15-mile (24-kilometer) stretch of highway renovations that will include other overland wildlife bridges, several under crossings and fencing.

A 2008 federal study found collisions between vehicles and wildlife are a rising problem on American roads.

Several other states and Canada have built bridges, and along with fencing, have seen drastic drops in collisions.