In three Florida counties, formerly "useless" wildlife-crossing ledges now keep animals off the roadway and lead them into surrounding habitats, thanks to repairs made by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). At an Orange County box culvert, where animals would have had to jump 3 feet to reach the ledge inside the culvert, FDOT contractors put up temporary planks connecting the ledges with the ground. At two bridge locations in Osceola and Brevard Counties, FDOT crews relocated wildlife fencing that had stopped short of the bridge structure, leaving gaps through which animals could get onto the road. When they discovered the ledges underneath each bridge ended at the edges of the bridge, they used equipment already onsite to extend the ledges around the corners of the abutments to the ground. No more escapes onto the highway here. No more attempted "high jumps" at the culvert or "ropewalking" around a bridge abutment; instead, turtles, opossums, and other wildlife species are using the temporary planks and completed ledges to get safely across the road.
--Aug 21, 2006
|The revised ledge allows easier access from the ground and better footing on the ledge for wildlife crossing under the bridge.|