Wildlife fence being installed along Highway 3 near Crowsnest pass

The province is investing about $280,000 to install specialized fencing in four sections along the highway near Crowsnest Lake and Emerald Lake.

'It's dangerous for not only the animals, but of course for drivers as well'

Roughly 1,440 metres of wildlife fencing will be installed in four sections along Highway 3 near Crowsnest Lake and Emerald Lake. (Government of Alberta)

The province is taking steps to prevent wildlife from being hit by vehicles along Highway 3.

It's investing about $280,000 to install specialized fencing in four sections along the highway near Crowsnest Lake and Emerald Lake.

Alberta's Transportation Minister Brian Mason calls improving traffic safety while protecting wildlife a win-win.

"It's important because in this particular place there's a lot of collisions involving animals, including bighorn sheep," he said. 

"And it's dangerous. It's dangerous for not only the animals, but of course for drivers as well. [The animals] come out onto the road to lick the salt that's put on in the winter, and it creates a real hazard."

Fence has jump-out ramps

Similar fences and underpasses have been built along Highway 1 west of Calgary in the Bow Valley to great success.

The fence will include six jump-out ramps to allow animals that have hopped the fence to get back into their natural area, while preventing them from getting back onto the road.

"Highway 3 through the Crowsnest Pass is one of the most important links for wildlife in the Yellowstone to Yukon region," Stephen Legault, with the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, said in a release. 

"This fencing project is an exciting first step in ensuring bighorn sheep, grizzly bears and other iconic wildlife can move up and down the Rocky Mountains safely."

Another nearby project on Highway 3 to help prevent rocks from falling onto the road is currently underway, and could cause some road closures before it's completed later this year. The $1.1-million will see new mesh and a five-metre wall installed to replace a barrier built in 2012.