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101 Freeway will see lane closures as wildlife crossing is built in Agoura Hills

Agoura Hills, California-June 20, 2021-Steady traffic on the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills, makes it impossible for mountain lions and other wildlife to cross this area to new breeding grounds. A proposed $87-million wildlife bridge spanning the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills may break ground later this year. It would be the largest wildlife crossing in the world - and a new defining cultural feature on the Southern California landscape. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Steady traffic on the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills makes it impossible for mountain lions and other wildlife to cross the area to breeding grounds. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Starting in mid-April, 101 Freeway lanes will be closed overnight to enable construction work on the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing in Agoura Hills.

Caltrans will close all lanes in one direction of the freeway between Liberty Canyon Road and Chesebro Road while the work is being performed, according to a city news release. The lanes will be closed for five hours on weeknights, starting at 11:59 p.m.

While the lanes in one direction are closed, all those in the opposite direction will remain open; Caltrans didn't specify which direction would be closed first.

The work is scheduled to start April 16, but that's subject to change, the city said.

A detour will be available via Agoura Road, Liberty Canyon Road and Chesebro/Palo Comado Canyon Road, officials said. Drivers can also use State Route 126 to avoid the area.

Read more: California mountain lion population is thousands fewer than previously estimated

Crews will install girders over the freeway to support the crossing, a vegetated bridge that will reconnect wildlife habitat, officials said.

With a projected cost of $92 million, half of it raised from donors, it's expected to be the biggest wildlife crossing of its kind. The primary purpose is to help save the dwindling population of mountain lions in Southern California from extinction.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.