05 January 2014

Big Bucks in Pursuit of Dubious Achievement

Construction of Moose Fence Begins Along Minnesota Drive

The strip of land next to Minnesota Drive and O'Malley Road in South Anchorage may not strike residents as prime real estate. Nonetheless, it's become a hot spot for construction, as separate crews working for a local developer and the state transportation department install sewer lines and a fence designed to keep moose off the road.

... Work also started this week on a moose fence along the road, between International Airport Road and the Old Seward Highway, though the clearing for that project is limited -- at most 60 feet from the edge of the road, but typically less, according to Bob Anderson, the project manager for the state's department of transportation.
... The state is also working on the moose fence during the winter to minimize the impact on the wetlands, according to Anderson, the project manager.

The $1.1 million installation will be covered by money from a federal safety program. State traffic planners maintain that the fence along Minnesota Drive and O'Malley Road will cut down on crashes between moose and cars, which averaged just under 10 a year between 2000 and 2010.

A state biologist, however, has said that openings along the fence at intersections could actually increase crashes. (emphasis added)

The skeptic in me wants to believe that the fence is yet another grand gesture at trying to re-engineer nature. But the fencing along the state highway heading north out of town does seem to have reduced the number of moose-related accidents there, so who knows?

Maybe this time, it'll work. But I'm not holding my breath.


Anonymous said...

Sounds a lot like fence efforts South of here.

I'm not holding MY breath, either!



Rev. Paul said...

I hear you, brother. Breathing isn't optional. :)

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Much of Interstate 70 from Glenwood Springs West to DeBuque is fenced for deer and elk. Have no idea of the cost but it is effective.

Moose are becoming common in some areas of Colorado. Accidents with cars aren't frequent, yet.

Rev. Paul said...

WSF, it's understood that a fence makes an effective barrier, but it's not without turnstiles, gates, or openings for traffic. And collisions continue, although at a reduced rate.

PioneerPreppy said...

Whether your theory is correct or not really isn't the issue either. What surprises me is our government has become so spend crazy that they blow millions on something that really the individuals should be looking out for themselves and calling it public safety.

I can understand guarding against weather and stuff like rock slides but Moose? Drivers should be adjusting their speed for a condition like that not blocking off nature on the public dime.

Just my opinion anyway.

Teresa said...

The best intentions...

Rev. Paul said...

That's the underlying point of my presentation, Preppy; you made it better than I did. :)

Absolutely, Teresa.

ProudHillbilly said...

I hope they don't get ideas like that here. I can't imagine what it would cost for fencing to control deer strikes.

There's one road here where there is ALWAYS a large herd of deer at certain times of day. And yet people go blasting through there.

Rev. Paul said...

PH, there are miles of fencing along the north side of the highway heading out of town, but it should be noted that it's also Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, and was probably a military expenditure. Since the one proposed above is being paid for via a State grant, it's most likely from taxes paid by the oil companies. I'm not sure that's any better, but at least it's not coming so directly out of our wallets.