Fence on I-80 Brings Down Deer Collision Rates

As Michael Albrecht strings up his Christmas lights, cars stream by on I-80 a football fields length away from his home. But it's what's between him and the highway that is important.

It's hard to see, but a fence with just a few metal wires stands eight feet tall just before the highway. It's a deer fence.

It stretches between Pflug road and Mahoney State Park. It's goal: to keep deer off the interstate. Albrecht said it's been doing a good job.

"Down below I have, these fields down the road here about a quarter mile, they stop," said Albrecht.

It is meant to bring down the numbers of deer-car collisions.

"That four mile stretch is really doing it's job. From late 2011, it's reduced deer motor vehicle collisions by 85 percent on that stretch of road," said Greg Wagner, Nebraska Game & Parks.

This type of preventative measure is being used in many deer heavy states. It's a win, win really. The fence keeps drivers safe, and it really doesn't hinder the deer on where they can go. Along the four mile stretch, there are tunnel areas and bridges that allow wildlife through.

Albrecht said on a whole it is great for the highway, but it doesn't stop the deer standing on the gravel road to his house.

"I've hit two of them on this road myself, just on this little gravel road myself," said Albrecht laughing.

He laughs, because as an avid hunter the fence has actually made his favorite sport easier.

The fence cost $1.1 million to put up. It is maintained by Nebraska Games & Parks, the Nebraska Department of Roads, and University of Nebraska - Lincoln.

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