St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Email editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message
 

Black bear deaths set record; road crossings under design

Associated Press
Published February 17, 2006


A record number of black bears died on Florida highways last year, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's preliminary figures.

Vehicles killed 139 bears. The previous high was 132 in 2002.

Nuisance complaints and bear sightings also hit a record 2,105, a nearly 35 percent increase from the previous high in 2004.

Many of the bear deaths are happening near sensitive environmental areas where explosive growth is increasing traffic.

To deal with the problem, the state Transportation Department and other agencies have begun designing wildlife crossings as part of new roads.

"It's very expensive, but it has become the cost of doing business," said Stephen Tonjes, a department environmental scientist. The proposed $60-million widening of Interstate 4 to six lanes from State Road 44 to Interstate 95 in Volusia County will include three wildlife crossings, two under the roadway and a third above it. Construction could begin in six years, but the state is working to move up that schedule.

Elevated I-4 spans would stretch about 108 feet over two crossings, allowing animals to move underneath traffic. The land bridge over the Interstate - 212 feet long, 150 feet wide and estimated to cost more than $4-million - will be the largest of its kind in Florida, officials said.

[Last modified February 17, 2006, 02:15:35]


Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT