The Wyoming Engineering Society has named WYDOT’s Trappers Point wildlife crossing project its 2012 President’s Project of the Year.
The project included design and construction of two overpasses and six underpasses on a 12-mile section of WYO 191 west of Pinedale to provide safe crossings for pronghorn, deer and other wildlife.
It was initiated and funded by WYDOT, designed by WYDOT and Valley West Engineering of Jackson and built by Reiman Corp. of Cheyenne.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Bridger-Teton National Forest and Upper Green River Cattle Association also collaborated on the project to improve safety on the highway.
The Trappers Point project has previously been honored with awards from the National Parks Conservation Association and the Federal Highway Administration.
WYO 191 crosses an ancient migration route for pronghorn traveling between winter range in the high desert south of Pinedale and summer range in Grand Teton National Park, the second-longest wildlife migration route in the Western Hemisphere.
The route is also heavily used by deer, and hundreds of animals have died there annually in collisions with vehicles. The combined loss of wildlife and property damage to vehicles was estimated at nearly $4.1 million from 2005 through 2009.
The savings from reducing wildlife deaths and damage to vehicles is expected to exceed the project cost of $9.7 million in 12 years.
The two wildlife overpasses are the first built in Wyoming, and were designed primarily for pronghorn, which are reluctant to use underpasses. About 30 miles of special fencing was installed to direct animals to the safe crossings.
The President’s Project of the Year award is sponsored annually by the Wyoming Engineering Society to recognize excellence in engineering and surveying projects that benefit Wyoming residents.