Environment

See the critter 'commuters' using the tunnel under Highway 50

Wildlife enjoying Highway 50 critter tunnel caught on camera

Cameras posted in the hills of El Dorado County captures video of some nocturnal critter "commuters" using a specially built Highway 50 underpass designed to reduce car-versus-wildlife crashes.
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Cameras posted in the hills of El Dorado County captures video of some nocturnal critter "commuters" using a specially built Highway 50 underpass designed to reduce car-versus-wildlife crashes.

Cameras posted in the hills of El Dorado County captured this video of some of the nocturnal critter 'commuters' who use a specially built Highway 50 underpass in El Dorado County - designed to reduce car-versus-wildlife crashes.

The video was made by Fraser Shilling, a UC Davis professor nationally known for efforts to get highway transportation departments to build more tunnels as a safety measure of human drivers and migrating animals.

Caltrans this week announced a series of highway surface repairs to be launched this summer and in the next few years on 50 and several other local freeways with new state gas tax funds, also known as Senate Bill 1 funds.

Shilling argues that Caltrans should invest some of that money into added tunnels under Highway 50 in El Dorado County.

"If you think about safety, and SB 1 has quite a few mentions of safety, this is one of the easiest safety fixes," Shilling said.

The tunnel in the video is near Shingle Springs. It cost $1.6 million when built in 2012, and includes several miles of fence line along the freeway that funnel animals into the 12-foot side concrete culvert-style tunnel.

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