Wildlife Bridge Across Mississippi

Plan to establish the longest human-made wildlife crossing in the world.

Between Iowa and Illinois, spanning the only stretch of the Mississippi River that flows from east to west, sits an exhausted 55-year-old cement bridge. Each day 42,000 cars drive across the ageing structure, which was scheduled to be torn down and replaced. However, a conservationist had a better idea.


Chad Pregracke suggested to the authorities that the bridge be kept and transformed into a wildlife crossing for American bison, colloquially known as buffalo. The departments of transportation in Iowa and Illinois are considering the proposal, which would break ground in as little as five years.


If completed, the bridge would become the longest human-made wildlife crossing in the world. The plan would see a new bridge built further down the river, where car traffic will be rerouted, and the existing bridge converted for use by humans and buffalo.


On one side of the converted bridge would be a pedestrian path and bike path, and on the other an enclosed bison paddock that would let visitors see eye to eye with the huge creatures. The herds would be free to roam between Iowa and Illinois in the grassy expanse, and the project would establish the first national park in either state.


Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, plans are afoot to help save the mountain lion population from local extinction by building an $87m (£63m) wildlife bridge across the 101 highway north of the city.

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