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Construction of Highway 21 Wildlife Overpass at Cervidae Peak starts this month

Construction is set to begin on a Highway 21 wildlife overpass between Lucky Peak and Idaho City.

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Department of Transportation (ITD) announced a new construction project in an attempt to improve motorist safety on State Highway 21.

On Wednesday, ITD said the goal is to reduce the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions while maintaining habitat connectivity for big game. In addition to the already existing wildlife underpass, big game fencing will be installed on both sides of the overpass to funnel wildlife toward to the crossing.

ITD said the construction will begin this month on the Cervidae Peak Wildlife Overpass, between Lucky Peak and Idaho City, at milepost 19.3 - with completion expected to be in October of 2023. 

To facilitate motorists, drivers will be detoured to a two-lane bypass road. Motorists can expect reduced speeds and periods of lane closures with flagger control.

The department said that the placement of the wildlife pass considers the terrain, constructability, future maintenance, recreational needs and minimal impairment of views from the road.

Underpass Project:

In 2010, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) constructed a wildlife underpass on SH-21 at milepost 18.2. ITD said that since the installation, cameras monitoring that underpass showed extensive use by mule deer, elk and other wildlife – all of which pose serious safety and mobility hazards to drivers if they were on the road. 

ITD said that the pass also improved habitat linkage and landscape connectivity to the Boise River Wildlife Management Area and adjacent public lands of the Boise National Forest, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Idaho Department of Lands, City of Boise, and Bureau of Land Management.

According to ITD, the Cervidae Peak project is supported by Idaho Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Forest Service, Army Corps of Engineers, the City of Boise, Ada and Boise Counties, numerous Non-Governmental Organizations, and the Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD) of the Federal Highways Division. 

To stay informed on the Cervidae Peak wildlife overpass project, visit the ITD website.

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