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REP LIEU CELEBRATES GROUNDBREAKING FOR WALLIS ANNENBERG WILDLIFE CROSSING

Congressman Lieu with Beth Pratt holding cardboard cutout of a mountain lion

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing. The ceremony marks the beginning of construction of the crossing, which will be the largest wildlife crossing of its kind in the world.  

“I am honored to participate in the ground breaking event today. Wildlife crossings help us protect wild animals that are critical to our local ecosystems and help keep human drivers and pedestrians safe too. Today, as we begin construction on the world’s largest wildlife crossing of its kind, we are taking an important first step helping our furry friends and the future of our environment.

In the past, highway systems were created without any thought to wildlife and now we must correct that. Wildlife crossings like this one will be an important part of future transit infrastructure. I am pleased that the Infrastructure Invesment and Jobs Act, which was signed into law last November, creates a program to provide grants for wildlife crossing projects that aim to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions and improve habitat connectivity. The new law provides $350 million over the next five years for these important projects.”

Background:

The Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing will span over 10 lanes of the 101-freeway connecting the Simi Hills with the Santa Monica Mountains. The crossing responds to two decades of study by the National Park Service. It will restore vital habitat and enable mountain lions and other wildlife to roam safely. It will restore connectivity to a broad arrange of animals and save our threatened local mountain lions. It will be the largest wildlife crossing of its kind in the world. The project is a public-private partnership and its $85 million price tag includes construction, maintenance, and continued wildlife research. Caltrans expects to begin construction on the wildlife crossing in spring 2022, and to complete construction within two years.          

Congressman Lieu with several California lawmakers, including Governor Newsom, holding shovels and smiling at groundbreaking ceremony

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