The biggest wildlife corridor in the world is currently being designed, and it will stretch over US Highway 101 to northwest Los Angeles and connect parts of the Santa Monica Mountain chain. The corridor will make it easier for mountain lions and other animals to roam freely through different parts of the mountains without the dangers of human interference. The project, which is in its final phase of design, costs $87 million and is slated to open in 2023.
According to Beth Pratt of the National Wildlife Federation, “This ecosystem needs to be reconnected for all wildlife. Segmentation impacts animals both large and small: lizards and birds up to mountain lions. [Mountain lions are] an animal that is particularly beloved in California. We want these animals on the landscape, and the population will go extinct if we don’t do something soon.”
Designers of the corridor chose to create a bridge surrounded by brush and trees, which extends 165 feet over a 10-lane freeway. It is supposed to blend seamlessly with the mountains, so the animals don’t realize they’re on a bridge at all.
“We looked at the best solution for all wildlife so all creatures can use this,” said Pratt, adding, “We’re doing this in LA, a city of four million people. If LA can do it, it can work anywhere. Even in a giant city, we’ll make a home for a mountain lion.”