Evaluation of Wildlife Crossing Structures on U.S. Highway 93 Evaro to Polson

Phase I of this long-term project involves finalizing the research methodologies and collecting the baseline pre-construction data that will be needed to determine what effect US 93's reconstruction installation of 42 wildlife crossing structures and fencing in 56 miles of highway have on the frequency of animal-vehicle collisions and successful animal crossings, and to ultimately identify best management practices for future wildlife crossing structure and fencing deployments. On December 20, 2000 a Memorandum of Agreement was signed by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) allowing for the reconstruction of US 93 on the Flathead Reservation from Evaro to Polson, Montana. This 56.3 mile (90.6 km) project includes 42 fish and wildlife crossing structures and 14.7 miles (23.66 km) of wildlife-proof fencing. The magnitude of this mitigation is unprecedented and offers an excellent opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of wildlife crossing structures to help guide similar mitigation measures in the future. It is commonly agreed animal-vehicle collisions and highway fragmentation of habitat are safety and ecological concerns that deserve attention. The breadth of cost/benefit information about various wildlife-highway crossing mitigation techniques is minimal at best. It is imperative to implement a scientifically based research plan to evaluate the effectiveness of the US 93 wildlife crossing structures. The evaluation results will be pivotal in the development of best management practices for future wildlife-highway impact mitigation projects and to help guide MDT and other state Departments of Transportation with the difficult task of providing appropriate transportation infrastructure while minimizing ecological impacts and animal-vehicle collisions.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Montana Department of Transportation

    2701 Prospect Avenue
    P.O. Box 201001
    Helena, MT  United States  59620-1001
  • Project Managers:

    Christensen, Kris

  • Performing Organizations:

    Western Transportation Institute

    Montana State University
    P.O. Box 174250
    Bozeman, MT  United States  59717-4250
  • Principal Investigators:

    Huijser, Marcel

    Hardy, Amanda

  • Start Date: 20020301
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20070831
  • Source Data: RiP Project 10090

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01468501
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Western Transportation Institute
  • Contract Numbers: 426402
  • Files: UTC, RiP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 3:52PM