The Effectiveness of Adding Wildlife Fencing to Existing Underpasses

An implementation project was initiated in 2016 to carry out the recommendations of a Virgnina Transportation Research Council (VTRC) study that evaluated the activity and behavior of white-tailed deer and other wildlife near two existing unfenced underpasses along I-64. For each of the two evaluated underpasses, researchers recommended the installation of up to 1 mile of 8-ft high fencing along east- and west-bound lanes to guide deer and other wildlife to the underpasses and reduce the high frequency of wildlife crashes. This project will include analyses of camera monitoring data and carcass removal records to evaluate the effectiveness of the wildlife fencing. Two years of pre-fencing data will be compared with two years of post-fencing data with regard to (1) the use of the underpasses by deer and other wildlife and (2) the frequency of deer- and bear-vehicle collisions at the fenced sites. The project will also include the initiation of a Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) guidance document that includes location and design requirements for new fencing projects along existing underpasses.