$11 million for wildlife bridge

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - In the next few months, the state, Pima County and the RTA will join forces to build a wildlife bridge over Oracle Road.

Oracle is being widened to a six lane thoroughfare from Oro Valley to the Pinal County line.

Work begins in April.

When Tucson voters passed the RTA in 2006, they approved $45 million for wildlife linkages.

This is part of that spending.

The bridge, which will be vegetated, will connect 9,000 acres of state trust on the West to Catalina State Park on the East.

The state and county have invested millions of dollars in the area and feel the bridge protects that investment.

Thousands of animals are killed every year crossing Oracle.

"Things like mule deer, mountains lions, bobcats, skunks, badgers, all kinds of animals," says Carolyn Campbell, director of the Coalition for the Sonoran Desert. "Snakes, birds, rodents, lizards."

Pima County will vote whether take $175,000 to buy a dozen acres near the bridge to protect it.

It will try to do a land swap or sale of land to repay the general fund.

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