MSN - AP World MSN - AP World Copyright © 2010-2018 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved. Sun, 31 May 2020 17:20:37 +0000 New Calif. freeway bridge to carry wildlife A new bridge planned for the 101 freeway near Los Angeles won't be carrying cars and trucks. Instead it's being built to let wild animals safely cross over the busy 10-lane highway. (Aug. 20) da6a5f6466794acfb60aa26ccf478fe9 Tue, 20 Aug 2019 02:18:42 +0000 RESTRICTION SUMMARY: PART U.S. NATIONAL PARK SERVICE -  MUST CREDIT U.S. NATIONAL PARK SERVICE; AP CLIENTS ONLY SHOTLIST:ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP CLIENTS ONLYAgoura Hills, California - 25 July 20191. Wide view of 101 freeway and surrounding hillside areas2. Medium view of traffic on freeway3. SOUNDBITE (English) Beth Pratt, California Regional Executive Director, National Wildlife Federation:++PARTIALLY COVERED++"What you're seeing with the 101 freeway is it is actually acted as an ecological barrier, and what it's doing is creating an island of the Santa Monica Mountains, cut off from the rest of the world. And as we know, nature does not like islands."4. Close view of wildlife crossing model5. Medium view of Pratt and California Department of Transportation official Sheik Moinuddin walking along trail near freeway  6. Close view of hillside area near freeway7. SOUNDBITE (English) Beth Pratt, California Regional Executive Director for the National Wildlife Federation:++PARTIALLY COVERED++"This is going to be a land bridge that comes over the access road you see down there and extends over the freeway to connect these two landscpaes. We're sort of setting a model. Nobody's attempted to do a connectivity project like this and of this magnitude in an urban core."8. Wide view of freeway 9. SOUNDBITE (English) Sheik Moinuddin, Senior Transportation Engineer, California Dept. of Transportation: ++PARTIALLY COVERED++"We're used to building bridges, to carry traffic. So this is the unusual part of this project. So this is a whole new thing that we're not really experienced with. This is one of the projects that we're supporting 100%. We are putting all our effort because it is a needed project."10. Close view of wildlife crossing project sign 11. Wide view of freeway passing through hillside area 12. Close view of wildlife bridge model  U.S. NATIONAL PARK SERVICE- MUST CREDIT U.S. NATIONAL PARK SERVICE FILE Southern California - November 2014  13. STILL photo of mountain lion P-22 ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP CLIENTS ONLYAgoura Hills, California - 25 July 201914. Wide view of traffic on freeway 15. Close view of freeway model 16. SOUNDBITE (English) Beth Pratt, California Regional Executive Director, National Wildlife Federation: ++PARTIALLY COVERED++"This crossing isn't going to bring more wildlife. It's just going to ensure they don't go extinct. And I that's cool that 300,000 people a day are going to drive under this crossing that wildlife will be walking over. And to me, that's the perfect way that wildlife and people can coexist. We're not taking the freeway away from people, they can still drive, yet we're doing this beautiful thing for animals so that they don't get hit by cars and so that they can have a future."STORYLINE: Hoping to fend off the extinction of mountain lions and other species that require room to roam, transportation officials and conservationists will build a mostly privately funded wildlife crossing over a major Southern California highway. It will give mountain lions, coyotes, deer, lizards, snakes and other creatures a safe route to open space and better access to food and potential mates. Scientists tracking mountain lions fitted with GPS collars found roadways are largely trapping animals in the Santa Monica Mountains, which run along the Malibu coast and across the middle of Los Angeles to Griffith Park, where a mountain lion designated P-22 has settled. The result of that isolation, researchers say, is imminent genetic collapse for mountain lions. Habitat loss has driven the populations to inbreeding that could lead to extinction within 15 years unless the big cats regularly connect with other populations to increase their diversity, according to a study published this year by the University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Davis; and the National Park Service. Eighty percent of the money to build the crossing will come from private sources, according to Beth Pratt, with the National Wildlife Federation. Pratt is in charge of fundraising and is using P-22 as the poster cat for the campaign. Despite being the face of the project, P-22 is unlikely to use the bridge because he's confined to the park many miles away. But many of his relatives could benefit, Pratt said. The span along U.S. 101 will be only the second animal overpass in a state where tunnels are more common. Officials say it will be the first of its kind near a major metropolis and the largest in the world, stretching above 10 lanes of busy highway and a feeder road just 35 miles (56 kilometers) northwest of downtown LA.     Some 300,000 cars a day travel that stretch of the 101 in Agoura Hills, a small city surrounded by a patchwork of protected wildland that the new crossing will connect.     Drivers on the busy freeway in the Liberty Canyon area might do a double-take as they speed under a bridge 165 feet (50 meters) wide with brush and trees growing on top, seamlessly joining hillsides on both sides of the lanes. The $87 million bridge last month entered its final design phase. It's on track for groundbreaking within two years and completion by 2023, according to engineer Sheik Moinuddin, project manager with the California Department of Transportation. Construction will take place mostly at night and won't require any lengthy shutdowns of the 101 freeway, officials said. ===========================================================Clients are reminded: (i) to check the terms of their licence agreements for use of content outside news programming and that further advice and assistance can be obtained from the AP Archive on: Tel +44 (0) 20 7482 7482 Email: they should check with the applicable collecting society in their Territory regarding the clearance of any sound recording or performance included within the AP Television News service (iii) they have editorial responsibility for the use of all and any content included within the AP Television News service and for libel, privacy, compliance and third party rights applicable to their Territory. A new bridge planned for the 101 freeway near Los Angeles won't be carrying cars and trucks. Instead it's being built to let wild animals safely cross over the busy 10-lane highway. (Aug. 20) New Calif. freeway bridge to carry wildlife