Central City road is wildlife-friendly

  Your article on the new road to Central City struck a tone that might give your readers a faulty impression about the construction of this badly needed road and the potential impact on wildlife (HCN, 6/21/04: Mining town gambles on a road to riches).

Prior to construction of this new parkway, the Central City Business Improvement District’s parkway consultants met with state wildlife officials to discuss methods of mitigating wildlife impacts during construction and after the opening of the Central City Parkway. A number of helpful suggestions were adopted from that meeting including:
  • The elimination of median barriers to prevent trapping animals in traffic lanes;

  • The addition of concrete jersey barriers strategically placed alongside the road to keep large animals, such as bighorn sheep and deer, off the roadway, and to permit escape routes for small animals from the roadway;

  • The addition of several large culverts in natural drainages to permit passage of animals under the roadway;

  • Use of plant species disliked by bighorn sheep for revegetation of roadside slopes so as not to provide an attractive food source for wildlife and lure them near the road.
We will continue to work with the Division of Wildlife as we progress with completing construction and opening the new parkway in November.

Joe Behm
Central City, Colorado

The writer is chairman of the Central City Business Improvement District.
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