Wed., October 27, 2010 2:43pm (EDT)

State Making Roads Safer For Bears
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 4 years ago

MACON, Ga.  —  
Wildlife crossing in Florida similar to those planned for Georgia (photo courtesy U.S. Department of transportation)
Wildlife crossing in Florida similar to those planned for Georgia (photo courtesy U.S. Department of transportation)
The Georgia Department of Transportation will spend 5-million dollars to help the bear cross the road, and get to the other side. The state is making plans for its first bear bridges.

Around 300 bears live in the Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge and Oaky Woods Wildlife area in Middle Georgia. Now the DOT is planning to widen a 15-mile stretch of State Road 96 that runs through their habitat.

Over the years several bears have been killed crossing the road. Two cubs died last summer. The DOT’s David Spear says they plan to build six or seven underpasses with fencing that funnels the bears under the road.

“Bears have had delineated crossings and paths that they use generation after generation for hundreds if not thousands of years. We’ve sort of identified those with the help of our friends at the Department of Natural Resources.”

Black bears also live in North Georgia and near the Okefonokee in South Georgia. They are considered a protected species.