Crossing on Highway 97 aims to curb wildlife collisions

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YAKIMA — A project nearing completion near Goldendale will allow deer and other wildlife to cross under U.S. Highway 97 without endangering either vehicles or themselves.

The $2.9 million project establishes a large wildlife underpass under a bridge that allows wildlife to migrate uninterrupted. It also improves fish passage.

The Yakima Herald-Republic says the project is funded by money from the 2005 gas tax increase.

The project is about 10 miles north of Goldendale on Highway 97. It's a stretch of road where transportation officials estimate there are 50 to 85 collisions a year involving large wildlife, such as deer.

Several wildlife connectivity underpasses also are currently under construction as part of the Snoqualmie Pass East expansion project.