Turtle mortality is never an issue on Arkansas' State Highway 440 between I-40 and US 167 across Rixey Bayou. That's because Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department maintenance crews have put up a fence along the route which keeps the Bayou's many turtles from getting onto the new six-lane interstate with its center concrete barrier wall. Installation was easy, quick, and inexpensive. The crews worked in late winter, when they had some downtime, using standard 3-foot-high, heavy-gauge pony wire. After placing the wire in a 1-foot-deep trench dug by a "ditch witch," they inserted rebar-stick posts into the wire and attached the wire and posts to existing right-of-way fencing leading to wildlife crossings under the highway (box culverts originally built on mammal trails). Since the turtle fence is located approximately halfway up the road embankment, there's plenty of nesting space for stinkpots, red-eared sliders, ornate boxes, and other common Arkansas River Valley turtles.
--Aug 21, 2006
|Arkansas DOT photo|
|A turtle fence has been erected to reduce highway mortality.|