There are school crossing signs, pedestrian crossing signs, and soon Southern California will have some new wildlife crossing signs. With groundbreaking scheduled for Earth Day (April 22nd), work on what is hailed as the world's largest wildlife bridge is expected to be completed by early 2025. The Wallis Annenberg wildlife crossing will span U.S. 101, a busy highway near Los Angeles that poses a threat to all sorts of animals trying to escape the urban sprawl. That wildlife includes mountain lions, deer, coyotes, and even snakes and lizards.
According to one spokesperson, the bridge will give the animals a chance to range into the Santa Monica Mountains to find mates, food, and an escape from humanity. "This one's historic because we're putting it over one of the busiest freeways in the world," said Beth Pratt of the National Wildlife Federation. The $90 million USD bridge will be 200 feet (61 m) long and 165 feet (50 m) wide.
According to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, the bridge will do much to protect the animals trying to stay alive as they cross a road on which approximately 300,000 cars travel daily. “California’s diverse array of native species and ecosystems have earned the state recognition as a global biodiversity hotspot," he said. "In the face of extreme climate impacts, it’s more important than ever that we work together to protect our rich natural heritage."
Only in California:
- The Hollywood Bowl opened in 1922 and has grown into the largest amphitheater in the United States.
- San Francisco's cable cars were designated as the first moving National Historic Landmark in 1964.
- The highest and lowest points in the continental United States are in California: Mount Whitney and Death Valley.