REDMOND, Wash. - A controversial project to build an overpass near Redmond exclusively for wildlife is finally underway. King County officials say the approximately $4.5 million project will help reduce and avoid potentially serious injury accidents.
The wildlife overpass will be built over a very active wildlife corridor that crosses N.E. Novelty Hill Road near 234th Place Northeast.
There s fantastic wetlands and habitat, coniferous forest to the south and to the north, said Wildlife Biologist Todd Martin with The King County Transportation Department. They use these natural guide ways as their movement corridors.
They didn't just pick the site randomly. They've been studying it for four years with a network of wildlife cameras.
Just about every woodland creature native to the area uses the corridor that crosses Novelty Hill Road. From the biggest to the smallest animal, 40,000 infrared images have been captured by the network of 12 motion activiated cameras hidden along the road.
When the project was originally announced last year, it set off a storm of complaints from people calling it a waste of money.
County Transportation officials say it is 100 percent funded by a federal grant and preventing accidents will prevent injuries to people and animals and damage to vehicles.