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Wildlife underpasses installed for I-4 widening project

Jerry Short with USA Fence installs fencing July 12, 2013, along Interstate 4 where the road is being widened between DeLand and Daytona Beach. News-Journal / Nigel Cook

Jerry Short with USA Fence installs fencing July 12, 2013, along Interstate 4 where the road is being widened between DeLand and Daytona Beach. News-Journal / Nigel Cook

By Mark Harper
STAFF WRITER

DAYTONA BEACH — Since workers began the $134 million widening of Interstate 4 last year, they have seen at least one bear and one coyote killed on the stretch of highway between DeLand and Daytona Beach.

Roads pose threats to animals, such as Florida black bears, which have roamed the Sunshine State’s forests for centuries. More than 30 bears have been killed attempting to cross the interstate in the past two decades, so the state is constructing a series of wildlife crossings beneath the six lanes of traffic.

“Underpasses are a novel approach to correcting that,” said Julie Wraithmell, director of wildlife conservation for Audubon Florida. “Nobody likes to see wildlife lose their lives on the roads.”

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