Colorado I-70 wildlife underpass is nearing completion

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CDOT is putting the finishing touches on the wildlife underpass near the Genesee overlook.

GENESEE, Colo. — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is nearing completion of the first wildlife underpass on the Interstate 70 mountain corridor.

That underpass, located on I-70 near the Genesee overlook, is set to be completed this spring. 

It will allow elk, deer and other animals to move freely from one side of the interstate to the other, reducing crashes in an area that CDOT has identified as a hotspot for collisions.

“The I-70 Genesee location sees the highest incidence of vehicle, wildlife collisions along I-70 east of the Eisenhower tunnel.” said CDOT spokesperson Tamara Rollison. “These projects are so important because they save lives.”

The structure itself is complete, with crews working on some excavation work and installation of cameras to monitor wildlife usage, Rollison said.

It’s a welcome sight for drivers like Julie Leidel, who totaled her car outside Evergreen in 2019 after coming over a hill and colliding with a herd of elk.

“As the headlights went down, I could actually see an entire wall of elk,” she said. “I realized at that moment there was nothing I could do to get around it, and unfortunately I hit at least three out of a herd of probably 15 to 20 elk.”

CDOT expects the underpass to reduce collisions in the area by at least 90%, Rollison said.

“The investment and the time we’re putting in will reap safety benefits.” she said.

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Colorado I-70 wildlife underpass is nearing completion

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