Investigate before installing deer crossings

To the editor:

I read the Jan. 11 issue of The Journal with special interest in the new Highway 14 story. Near the end of the article I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Reference was made to the DNR/MnDOT project to install a single 10×8 (or10x9, but who cares?) foot box culvert instead of four 42-inch culvert pipes near Claremont. The extra cost was only $90,000. Minuscule in comparison to the $108,000,000 project, but again who really cares? The intent was to reduce deer crashes in the area by providing deer a more convenient way to cross the road. Why deer choose to cross roads remains a great mystery.

Apparently, “To date, we have not seen evidence of deer usage (of the box culvert). Monitoring has been sparse, but a number of small animals are taking advantage of the culvert.” Well, at least the little critters can now cross in a more spacious culvert than the originally planned 42″ ones.

I would suggest the DNR install a few trail cams to investigate the effectiveness of the $90,000 expenditure of the new deer crossing (or maybe try to spread the word amoung the deer population). Or, perhaps MnDOT could put up some “Deer Crossing” signs so the deer start crossing there instead of elsewhere. (Similar to the now famous radio interview with the lady who opposed the location of the Deer Crossing signs.)

It seems the State of Minnesota keeps coming up with ways to waste our $17 billion surplus. If we keep this up, we might just need another tax increase.

Paul Platz



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