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Deer fence along I-80 is working

Posted: 10:41 PM, Nov 25, 2016
Updated: 2016-11-26 04:51:12Z

Many Nebraskans will be hitting the road this weekend heading home from those family gatherings.

It’s also rutting or mating season for deer.

If you have ever hit one, it's very jarring.

But along I-80, a fence is cutting down on those wild encounters.

Completed in October 2011, an electrified 8-foot fence was completed on a 4-mile stretch along I-80 from the Mahoney interchange to Pflug Road across the Platte River.

Some who live in the area weren’t so sure about the fence to begin with.

“I thought it was ridiculous, a waste of money,” said Marilyn Hintz, “I just laughed about it.”

“Deer like to travel across the interstate at this location so based on that information we determined it was a pretty good place to place a deer fence,” said Tim Weander, Nebraska Department of Roads engineer for District 2.

According to NDOR ever since the deer fence was completed, deer-related incidents involving vehicles declined 80-percent. In 2015, zero related incidents were recorded.

“It's very effective, very safe for the animal and travelers when they travel on the interstate system,” said Weander.

These results convincing once skeptical neightbors like Hintz.

“When they put the fence up it stopped a lot of the deer traffic,” said Hintz.

But what the fence doesn’t stop is the occasional deer visit at Hintz's home.

“We still see a few bambies on the way home but they come up,” said Hintz.

Here the statistics of total deer-vehicle related reports along that stretch of interstate:

2011: 4

2012: 2

2013: 2

2014: 3

2015:0

The fence to the West of the Platte River cost: $275,400 whereas the fence to the East cost $822,727.

NDOR said they don’t have any plans on expanding the fence mostly because of the cost.