Bloomington is seeking a $300,000 federal grant to build a turtle-proof fence along Bush Lake Road. The fence aims to protect turtles and reduce accidents caused by their road crossings. The current barrier, made of landscaping fabric, is deteriorating, necessitating a long-term solution. The plan is to use federal funding for wildlife crossings provided by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed in 2021.

A previous study showed that fences significantly decreased turtle deaths, but some concerns were raised about their appearance. While the new fence will ensure turtle safety on the road, it may limit their movement. Bloomington envisions future turtle crossings under key streets, but that will have to wait for road rebuilding and cooperation from Hennepin County.

Turtles are valuable to the ecosystem and drivers’ safety. By preventing turtle deaths on the road, the city also avoids potential federal regulations that could be imposed if certain turtle species are listed as threatened or endangered.