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.