Constructing the State Route 63 Bypass around the City of Lucedale, Mississippi, meant protecting a nearby colony of gopher tortoises - a federally threatened species. To keep the tortoises from leaving their sandy habitat and wandering onto the four-lane highway, Mississippi Department of Transportation contractors placed a three-foot-high chain-link fence at the edge of the highway right-of-way. They buried one foot of the fence in the ground and used a fence made of heavy gauge wire so it would last a long time. To redirect tortoises back into the area from which they had come, a "turnaround" was constructed at each end of the fence with the first corner placed on a 90-degree angle and the second on a 45-degree angle. State Route 63 is monitored frequently and not a single gopher-tortoise casualty has been recorded.
--Apr 25, 2003
|U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo|