MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) proposes to issue an authorization for the “incidental taking” of a rare snake, which may result from the reconstruction of WIS 38 bridge over Root River project.  

Incidental take refers to the unintentional loss of individual endangered or threatened animals or plants that does not put the species’ overall population at risk.

The proposed project consists of replacing the existing WIS 38 bridge structure (B-51-012) over Root River and upgrading the roadway approaches on either side to match the new structure. This three-span structure was built in 1958. The proposed replacement structure (B-51-017) will be a single span bridge, which will be 24 feet wider than the existing structure. The project also consists of the following:

  • Reconstructing WIS 38 and Rapids Drive intersection for improved traffic function
  • Installing new traffic signals at WIS 38 and Rapids Drive intersection
  • Replacing the pavement between County MM and Rapids Drive
  • Improving pedestrian and bike accommodations between County MM and Rapids Drive

The presence of the state endangered Queensnake is confirmed in the vicinity of the project site. DNR staff determined that the proposed project may result in the incidental taking of some snakes.

The DNR concludes that the proposed project is not likely to appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival or recovery of the species within the state, the whole plant-animal community of which they are a part of, or the habitat that is critical to their existence.

Conservation measures to minimize the adverse effect on the threatened and endangered species will be incorporated into the proposed Incidental Take Permit. Copies of the jeopardy assessment and background information on these species are available by visiting the DNR Incidental Take Public Notices webpage or upon request from DNR Conservation Biologist Stacy Rowe at 608-228-9796 or  

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