For wildlife, a promise of safe passage between Juntura and Harper

Mule deer cross the road using an underpass at Lava Butte. (Submitted photo)

HARPER – A new study being finalized could be the key to new wildlife crossings along U.S. 20 between Juntura and Harper that could save mule deer from highway mayhem.

Most of the 34-mile stretch through the canyons of the Malheur River is a narrow, two-lane highway that rises and falls between a multitude of sharp, twisting turns.

The circumstances can leave drivers little time to react to wildlife, particularly deer.

Officials say there is a simple and practical solution for keeping both motorists and mule deer safe: a wildlife crossing.

Wildlife crossings are structures that enable animals to freely cross over or under highways without venturing into incoming traffic. The typical designs for these structures are tunnels . . .