UDOT tries new way to reduce number of wildlife crashes
EAGLE MOUNTAIN – It’s something UDOT has never tried before… deer radar. Engineers hope their new device can prevent a lot of crashes between cars and animals.
State Road 73 is known for being especially bad when it comes to wildlife crashes. Leslie Beck with UDOT says she can remember a time, three or four years ago, when they were called out to deal with a large number of deer carcasses left along the road.
“We rode out to see them and there was anywhere from 10 to 12 deer,” she says, adding that many of them were mothers crossing the road with their children.
Beck says they spoke with fish and game officials and they believe they arrived at a possible solution. They took existing radar technology and just pointed in the other direction.
“There’s a radar on the other side of it that will shoot down the other side of the road and anything coming from the fields will be detected. That will make the lights flash on the signs,” Beck says.
State transportation officials are optimistic on how well these devices could work, especially since they cost a fraction of what other measures do. For instance, UDOT Regional Communications manager Geoff Dupaix says wildlife bridges can cost several million dollars, each.
“This is an innovative option that costs, maybe, around seven thousand dollars,” Dupaix says, adding, “Depending on how well this functions, it’s likely it could be utilized in other migrations areas throughout the state.”
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