ORLANDO, Fla. – When driving on Florida’s roads and interstates, the vast majority of people never get a glimpse of the diverse animal life that exists all around them. Deer, raccoons, otters, bobcats, coyotes, and of course alligators are just some of the wildlife that goes about their business when we’re on the roadways nearby. They do this day and night.
All of the videos that were recorded by the cameras belonged to the Florida Department of Transportation.
According to Brent Setchell, who works for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), “The majority of our crossings, which are newer crossings, have motion-activated trail cameras we put out there to monitor the bridge and make sure it’s successful.”
These movies were filmed by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) from a variety of roadways, some of which were constructed specifically to enable wild animals to pass underneath them without putting their lives or the lives of motorists in danger.
“There are over a hundred thousand vehicles per day that travel on I-4 in this section; as a result, it is not safe for wildlife to attempt to cross, nor is it safe for motorists for any wildlife that does cross,” said Setchell. “There are over a hundred thousand vehicles per day that travel on I-4 in this section.”
Officials aim to construct the first wildlife overpass in the state at Saddle Creek, which is located close to Lakeland. This will be a bridge over Interstate 4 that will be constructed to allow animals to travel over the moving vehicles.
There are already some conserved areas that fall along such corridors as a result of the road that is already there. According to Setchell, this makes it an excellent place to try to reunite those areas that have been split by Interstate 4 and subsequent development over the course of the past fifty years.
The bridge won’t have the same appearance as a typical one constructed for people. It will be expansive and disguised as a component of the natural environment by being grown over with grass, trees, and shrubs.
According to the FDOT, the price of eight million dollars will be around half of what it will cost to hoist the road over the wilderness region.
“Cost-wise, this one became more cost-effective to go with this option and still have the same level of service and meet the project needs that we were looking for,” said Setchell. “We still have the same level of service and meet the needs that we were looking for.”
The Florida Department of Transportation has confirmed that the bridge will be of great benefit to a wide variety of species.
Cindi Lane remarked that there were a significant number of Florida black bears, bobcats, turkeys, sandhill cranes, and raccoons, and that they were aware of the presence of a large number of deer in the region.
According to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), if they have secured money for the project, construction in Orlando could begin as early as January and be completed in roughly three years.