By JEFF MARTIN
ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia transportation officials are planning to add a half-dozen bear tunnels beneath a highway in what will be a first-of-its-kind project for the state.
Jeremy Busby, a project manager for the Georgia Department of Transportation, says preliminary plans have already been completed. He says the state is now buying land along State Route 96.
Busby says the idea is similar to wildlife crossings designed for endangered panthers in Florida and other structures in some parts of the western U.S. They allow animals to cross beneath the highway without being struck by the cars and trucks zooming by overhead.
Georgia has bears in three areas: the north Georgia mountains; the Okefenokee Swamp; and along the Ocmulgee River in central Georgia.