World’s Largest Wildlife Highway Crossing Opens in San Antonio
photo courtesy of Phil Hardberger Park Conservancy
The new Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge connects people with nature in the heart of San Antonio across a six-lane highway at Phil Hardberger Park. Private donations and a five-year bond program approved by voters helped fund the $23 million bridge, the largest wildlife crossing of its kind in the U.S.
Wildlife and vehicle collisions are a big problem across the country, increasing by 50 percent in 15 years, with an estimated 1 to 2 million large animals killed by motorists every year, according to National Geographic sources. In the U.S., 21 threatened and endangered species face extinction partly because of traffic accidents. Wildlife crossings are seen as an effective solution to the problem, with fatality reductions of up to 95 percent, depending on the location. The San Antonio bridge is notable for its size—150 feet wide and 150 feet long—and that it accommodates people, too. Animals in the 330-acre park that benefit from the bridge include ringtails, squirrels, coyotes, lizards, raccoons and deer. They are using it as intended, and it also serves as a habitat for native plants.