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Home / News / Environment / Newsom: World’s largest wildlife crossing on track to open early ’26

Newsom: World’s largest wildlife crossing on track to open early ’26

by Staff
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The world’s largest wildlife crossing is likely to open in early 2026, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday.

Construction crews have installed more than half of the beams that form the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing, which spans across both sides of the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills, according to the governor’s office. Last month, the first of 82 large concrete beams went up over the 101 at Liberty Canyon Road.

Philanthropy has raised more than $34 million in funding for the crossing, and the state has provided $58.1 million, officials reported.

“Our work to build more, faster is already paying dividends across our state,” Newsom said in a statement. “This wildlife crossing is just one example of how California is building infrastructure that connects rather than divides. With projects like this, we’re reconnecting and restoring habitats so future generations can continue to enjoy California’s unmatched natural beauty.”

The 101 Freeway is among the largest barriers preventing wildlife connectivity in Southern California. The Annenberg crossing aims to reconnect habitats and benefit many Southern California species, “including people,” according to the governor’s announcement.

The crossing will provide animals with a safe and sustainable way of avoiding the surface of the freeway and offer them increased options for finding food, shelter and mates, “which is increasingly important in light of climate change and continued human development that is pressuring species survival,” officials said.

“More than 30 years of conservation work has gone into strategic habitat linkages on both sides of U.S. Highway 101 so that this wildlife crossing will connect protected lands in the Santa Monica Mountains and the Sierra Madre Range,” the announcement said.

A key intention of the forthcoming 101 crossing is the completed freeway overpass will reduce collisions between high-speed vehicles and animals on one of North America’s most congested highways.

This project also has an education component for the millions of motorists who will pass under the crossing, as officials try to advance the “30×30 goal” to conserve 30% of state lands and coastal waters by 2030 to ensure “wildlife can move across conserved habitats that provide shelter, food and water.” 

The Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing broke ground on Earth Day 2022.

“Wildlife crossings of all kinds are essential to building a network of interconnected conserved lands and waters that protect and restore biodiversity while also supporting transportation infrastructure,” according to the governor’s office. 

A map of infrastructure projects statewide like the wildlife crossing is online at build.ca.gov

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