Desert Bighorn Sheep Prompt Traffic Concerns on Hoover Dam Overpass

BOULDER CITY, Nev., Oct. 5 (UPI) — City officials in Boulder City, Nev., say the opening of a Hoover Dam overpass bridge could pose problems with desert bighorn sheep in the area.

The Las Vegas Sun said Monday with an overpass bridge scheduled to open at the nearby dam in January, Boulder City officials are concerned an expected increase in traffic could endanger sheep visiting a local park.

Martin Olson, a Nevada Department of Wildlife education coordinator, said dozens of desert bighorn sheep routinely visit Hemenway Park almost daily between May and September.

Many of the bighorn sheep who visit the park from their homes in the River Mountains occasionally wander close to U.S Route 93 and the highway’s regular traffic.

The Nevada Department of Transportation projects traffic on U.S. 93 will increase dramatically with the opening of the Hoover Dam overpass. At least 2,000 trucks daily will likely use the highway once the bridge officially opens, state officials estimate.

“I think there will be more fatalities, sheep fatalities,” Boulder City Animal Control Officer Mary Jo Frazier told the Sun. “You mix cars and sheep, and there can be human fatalities as well.”

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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