Deer: Please Cross Here

* Signs that read, "Slow -- Deer Crossing" just aren't enough in Colorado. The state is considering building an animal overpass so that deer and other animals can safely cross busy Interstate 70, near the town of Vail.

The proposal calls for a 55-foot-wide bridge that would be covered with grass, trees and bushes. Ramps to the bridge would be covered with dirt and sloped gently to allow the animals to cross easily.

Colorado environmentalists say the bridge is needed because in the last 10 years more than 11,000 deer and thousands of other animals have been killed trying to dash across the busy highway.

The first animal overpass was built in New Jersey in the 1970s. Europe has thousands of animal passages -- including special tunnels for frogs to hop through.

The bridge would make the highway safer for people, too, according to Colorado transportation officials. Lots of people are hurt and cars damaged every year in collisions with deer.

Building the bridge could cost as much as $8.6 million, and raising money for it has been difficult. Environmentalists say that many overpasses are needed to solve the problem.

An artist's rendering of a bridge that would allow wildlife to cross Interstate 70.