By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Atlantic City Expressway speeds drivers to and from the shore but creates a dangerous barrier for wildlife. The State of New Jersey is about to begin monitoring how four safe passageways are working.

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Why did the chicken cross the road? Or the deer, fox or possum? Who knows, but they’re in danger when they do, so a small portion of an Atlantic City Expressway project was aimed at creating tunnels for wildlife to go under the highway.

Next month, Bob Considine, Department of Environmental Protection spokesman, says motion activated cameras will be installed to see which animals are using the safe passage.

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“It’s an open-ended project,” Considine says. “We want to see animal behavior, to see if animals are using these culverts for their advantage and then we can look into possibly doing them elsewhere in the state,” with the dual aim of animal and motorist protection.

Considine says, “It’s a project that’s not only giving safe passage for the animals and the critters, but it also makes the road safer, and that’s one of the big intents of this project. I mean, how many of us ourselves or seen others try to avoid an animal that comes out in the middle of the highway? By having these culverts, you kind of reduce the odds of accidents.”

Safe passageways are more common out West, but gaining a foothold in this region.

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