Construction costs for two wildlife crossings planned on Ajo Highway near Kitt Peak have soared by nearly 60 percent.
The Arizona Daily Star reports the crossings now are expected to cost about $1.2 million.
A Tohono O’odham Police Department report provided to Pima County’s Regional Transportation Authority shows nearly 20 percent of crashes in the area involve animals. The two under-crossing structures are meant to reduce that number.
RTA transportation services director Jim DeGrood says the Arizona Department of Transportation wants to build them now in conjunction with an ongoing highway-widening project.
The RTA Board approved $746,280 for the project last year and on Thursday approved another $154,000. The Arizona Department of Transportation will pay for the remaining shortfall of about $291,000.