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Agoura Hills Wildlife Crossing Taking Shape Over 101 Freeway


Gary Leonard

The $92-Million Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing project spanning the US-101 freeway in Agoura Hills, now boasts sturdy concrete girders stretching overhead, This is a major milestone for the new bridge in Liberty Canyon that will serve to safeguard California's renowned mountain lions and other wildlife allowing them to safely cross the freeway network.


The bridge is Inspired by the late P-22, who famously traversed the 405 and 101 freeways to settle in Griffith Park. Officials have embraced the big cat as a symbol for the endeavor.


A total of over 80 girders, each weighing between 126 and 140 tons, will support the crossing. Their installation has necessitated nightly closures of the adjacent freeway lanes. The bridge itself will span 210 feet in length and 174 feet in width, as detailed on the Caltrans website.


Design work for this ambitious project is being led by Chicago-based firm Rock Design Associates, with plans to create what is touted as the world's largest wildlife crossing. Complementing the bridge will be approximately 12 acres of ecological restoration in the vicinity, featuring native flora to seamlessly integrate the structure into the natural landscape.


Anticipated completion of the crossing is slated for late 2025 or early 2026, according to Caltrans project updates. Fundraising efforts for the US-101 crossing commenced in 2016, culminating in the groundbreaking ceremony in 2022. There are ongoing studies exploring the possibility of additional wildlife crossings across Southern California, including potential bridges over the I-5 and SR-14 freeways.


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