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Title: Strategies to Increase Driver Safety and Connect Habitat for Elk and Other Wildlife Along Corridor Q in Southwest Virginia
Contact: Bridget M. Donaldson
Project No.: 121408
Target Date: 02/28/2023
Abstract: Construction is underway along a 14.2-mile section of highway in Buchanan County, designated as U.S. Route 460, or Corridor Q. A population of approximately 100 reintroduced elk inhabit the area along Corridor Q. The large size of elk and the abundance of high-quality habitat present challenges with regard to driver safety when the road opens to traffic. The purpose of this study is to determine the most effective means of reducing risk to driver safety and maintaining habitat connectivity along Corridor Q.  The research team will develop and apply a criteria-based prioritization method to identify locations recommended for wildlife crossings and animal detection driver warning systems. The final report will include information on the specific sizes and features of wildlife crossings recommended for the prioritized locations and the recommended locations for animal detection systems. Because implementation of these measures will depend on funding availability, the study will also include determining funding options and relevant programmatic eligibilities. 

     Jacalyn Rosenberger
     Bridget M. Donaldson