World’s Largest Animal Safety Crossing Coming to California

road stretch of Pacific Coast Highway in California
road stretch of Pacific Coast Highway in California

What could become the world’s largest safe crossing pathway for animals is set to come to the Los Angeles area.

The Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing is a project designed to provide a safe passage for wildlife to cross the busy 101 freeway, an area that has caused hundreds of accidents and animal deaths.One hope is that it will help restore habitats and ecosystems that have been damaged due to human development.

The project, which broke ground on Earth Day in 2022, began construction in mid-April and is expected to be completed as early as 2026.

Recreating a Natural Environment

The Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing is a collaborative project involving multiple organizations, including the National Park Service, and the National Wildlife Federation.

It’s designed to help reduce the number of animals being killed on the freeway and to prevent further damage or changes to wildlife habitats.

The bridge will be designed with native vegetation to encourage animals to use it and make it seem more harmonious with the natural environment.

“We need to move beyond mere conservation, toward a kind of environmental rejuvenation. Wildlife crossings are powerfully effective at doing just that — restoring ecosystems that have been fractured and disrupted. It’s a way of saying, there are solutions to our deepest ecological challenges, and this is the kind of fresh new thinking that will get us there,” philanthropist Wallis Annenberg said about supporting the project.

Southbound lanes of the 101 Freeway in Augora Hills will be closed for five hours each night starting to make headway in construction and to install the first girders of the project.

These girders, made of reinforced concrete, will support the structure’s reach across the highway. The closure will extend from Liberty Canyon to Chesebro roads, with detours available for drivers.

Construction is currently underway for the crossing and site plans envision it to become the world’s largest wildlife crossing corridor in the world.