AZTEC served as the prime consultant for the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s (AGFD) Wildlife Fencing Grant project located along SR260, approximately 10 miles east of Payson, Arizona. As the prime consultant, AZTEC was responsible for the overall project management and coordination with project stakeholders; preparation of preliminary and final design plans and estimates; post design services; and assisting AGFD in reviewing and reducing post construction, research-phase traffic data.
Project improvements consisted of three wildlife-proof fence types including standard wire mesh game fence, retrofitted barbed wire right-of-way fence, and electric fence; wildlife escape ramps, gates and slope jumps; real-time variable message and solar powered flashing signs tied into a state-of-the-art Animal Detection System. Ultimately, the goal of the project is to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions while providing safe passage for wildlife. Since construction, these goals have been realized; the new wildlife fencing not only has provided real-time data identifying no wildlife-vehicle collisions to date since construction, but has provided a path for wildlife to safety cross the highway.
Stakeholder coordination was key to the project. AZTEC facilitated the process of bringing diverse stakeholders and clients together to work cooperatively to implement this project, helping design and integrate several project components never before used in Arizona. Working together, the project team developed innovative solutions to the wildlife-vehicle collisions. Projects such as this, and the data being collected on the effectiveness of the various fencing improvements and motorist warning system, will assist ADOT and AGFD in better defining the cost-benefit of providing these types of improvements along our highways on future projects.