LOS ANGELES — Hoping to fend off the extinction of mountain lions and other species that require room to roam, transportation officials and conservationists will build a mostly privately funded wildlife crossing over a major Southern California highway.It will give big cats, coyotes, deer, lizards, snakes and other creatures a safe route to open space and better access to food and potential mates.The span along U.S. 101 will be only the second animal overpass in a state where tunnels are more common. Officials say it will be the first of its kind near a major metropolis and the largest in the world, stretching above 10 lanes of busy highway and a feeder road just 35 miles (56 kilometres) northwest of downtown LA.The $87 million bridge last month entered its final design phase. It’s on track for groundbreaking within two years and completion by 2023.___Follow Weber at https://twitter.com/WeberCMChristopher Weber, The Associated Press read more