Project description (English)

Interstate 89 between Burlington and Montpelier, Vermont, is the busiest stretch of road in the state. It serves as the most substantial barrier to wildlife movement between the two largest contiguous forestlands in Vermont—the 54,000 acre forest block containing Camel’s Hump State Park to the south and the 72,000 acre forest containing Mount Mansfield State Forest to the north. Along this stretch, just west of the village of Waterbury, four lanes of I-89 cross the Little River as it enters the Winooski River. Two-lane Vermont Highway 2 runs parallel to I-89, meaning the Little River passes under six lanes of traffic in this location. Wildlife-vehicle collisions were common as wildlife tried to move through the area. In 2013, Highway 2 was scheduled for an upgrade and a two-year study began to better understand wildlife movement in this area and improve highway safety. Using the data from preconstruction monitoring, a horizontal shelf was built into the riprap or rock armoring. Grubbing material (gravel and dirt fill) was then added to create a trail surface attractive to and passable by wildlife. The shelf stretches under three bridges—both directions of I-89 and Highway 2—making it possible for wildlife to cross under six lanes of highway without getting their feet wet or entering the roadway.

Project description (French)

Main contact organization for the project

Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department

Partner organization(s)

Vermont Agency of Transportation

Part of larger network(s)

Staying Connected Initiave (SCI)

Project status


Start year of project


Primary ecosystem focus




Connectivity action

Core priority area designation

Mitigation of infrastructure impacts

Research (Field evaluation of connectivity)

Standard keywords


Transportation (roads, rails, bridges, culverts)

Wildlife cameras


Wildlife shelf

Taxonomic Coverage


Geographical coverage




Location name

Little River Road

Reports, publications or pictures