This highway is about to get a lot more environmentally friendly. Check out I-90 in Washington.

"We wanted to find a project that both moved people and wildlife at the same time."

As part of a massive, nearly $1 billion highway project, Washington state will soon be home to one of the most wildlife-friendly roadways in the country.

Interstate 90 stretches across large swaths of the country, but it's the recent changes to the roadway in Washington that are making news — specifically, the steps being taken to accommodate regional wildlife.

Washington State Department of Transportation Assistant Regional Administrator for Construction and Development Brian White explained in a video for Conservation Northwest how they came about the idea of aiming for a truly wildlife-friendly approach, saying, "We wanted to find a project that both moved people and wildlife at the same time."


This year, the state completed Phase 1 of the project, including underpasses for animals such as deer and coyotes.

Located about an hour outside Seattle, the Gold Creek Bridges Undercrossing features a raised roadway, similar to a bridge over a waterway.

Images from WSDOT.

The local wildlife is then able to travel from one side of the interstate to the other without risking the safety of themselves or the drivers.

A number of other, smaller underpasses can also be found along the highway's path.

The next phase, which is currently under construction, will include the addition of overpasses designed for wildlife only.

There are several overpasses included in this phase — the largest of which is the Price/Noble Wildlife Overcrossing.

Wildlife overpasses look a lot like regular vehicle overpasses, with the exception of the "road" being replaced by trees, grass, and soil and the "cars" being replaced by deer and coyotes.

Why is this a good thing? It allows human expansion without making a negative effect on the environment any more severe than it needs to be.

Any sort of human-made structure is bound to have an effect on wildlife and the environment, but steps like these can help minimize the harm caused.

As the Seattle Times notes, some animals local to the area — such as cougars and bears — require large territories. Additionally, animals at risk for extinction benefit from not becoming separated from potential mates by a highway.

Financially, it's more cost-effective than you might think.

When you factor in collisions that happen as the result of wildlife trying to pass across highways, at least one report suggests that the added cost of building overpasses and underpasses may actually be a better long-term financial solution.

That is to say, yes, it's expensive to build these features into the larger project. At the same time, if it makes for fewer collisions and an improved relationship with the local environment, it really just makes sense.

Check out the Washington State Department of Transportation's simulation of the project's design below:

It'd be great to see more state infrastructure projects take on the kind of environment-conscious approach WSDOT is taking with their I-90 renovation.

Heroes

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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