Interstate 40 winds through the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, disrupting habitat connectivity and creating a potential barrier to wildlife movement from Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the extensive Pisgah and Cherokee National Forests to the northeast. This ecologically diverse and protected region is home to a large black bear population, moderate numbers of white-tailed deer, and a growing population of elk. Along this section of I-40, wildlife vehicle collisions are common and the severity of elk and bear vehicle collisions threaten human safety. The highway likely impedes the movement of the other diverse species in the park from being able to migrate northwards with climate change. Wildlands Network and NPCA launched a collaborative road ecology research effort in this area in 2018, focused on a 28-mile section of I-40 where the interstate drops through the steep and rocky Pigeon River Gorge. The research has led to a large collaborative effort composed of diverse partners working towards wildlife safe passage on this part of I-40. For this portion of the symposium, I will focus on how the collaborations and partnerships evolved within the Safe Passage: Pigeon River Gorge Connectivity Project, and the diverse team of organizations that are helping lead efforts to build support for wildlife road mitigation in North Carolina.