clear
Wednesday September 2nd, 2015 10:36PM

Osprey piers part of bridge replacement plans

By Derreck Booth Anchor/reporter
GAINESVILLE - As Georgia Department of Transportation officials plan to replace Bolling Bridge on Dawsonville Highway in Hall County, some bridge dwellers will get new homes.

The bridge trusses are home to two osprey nests. DOT spokeswoman Teri Pope said the birds are not native to Georgia. Elachee Nature Science Center officials believe the birds were blown inland and found Lake Lanier, according to Pope. She said the ospreys have been there around four to five years.

While they're not native to the area or endangered, Pope said the Migratory Bird Act requires DOT give them new homes.

"They're covered by federal law, so it's almost like a relocation of their home. When we buy somebody's property, we have to help them get a new home. We're doing that for the osprey too," Pope said.

Transportation officials plan a pier on each side of the bridge to serve as nesting locations because the new bridge will not have overhead trusses.

"The piers will be about the same height as the trusses are now because they (ospreys) like to be way above the water, and we've worked really closely with DNR to develop the size pier and the height exactly like they need it," Pope said.

The original nests in the current span will be taken down for demolition, but not during nesting season, according to Pope. Officials are confident the birds will build nests on the new piers.

"We have removed their nests once when we were doing a maintenance project a couple of years ago on the bridge, and they did come back and build," Pope said.

As far as the actual bridge project, DOT officials estimate it will be let for bidding in fiscal year 2015. The estimated total bridge replacement project cost is $15.2 million. Pope did not immediately know the projected cost of the osprey piers.

Pope commented Thursday in Gainesville at the Annual Transportation Forum sponsored by the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 8 months ago )
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 8 months ago )
Sheriff: Man shot 2 on I-85 because he wanted car
A 22-year-old man shot two people who stopped to give him a ride on Interstate 85 in South Carolina on Christmas Eve because he wanted their car to drive to Georgia, a sheriff said Wednesday.
5:21PM ( 8 months ago )
Local/State News
US officials gather on old battleship to mark 70th anniversary of official end to World War II
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — U.S. officials gathered on a decommissioned battleship in Pearl Harbor to mark the 70th anniversary of World War II's end.U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Mark Takai of...
9:33PM ( 1 hour ago )
Higgins to run for Hall County Commission Chair
Former Hall County School Board Chairman Richard Higgins has confirmed he is running for the Hall County Commission.
By AccessWDUN Staff
7:45PM ( 2 hours ago )
Two Hall Co. Christian schools to merge in 2016
Two private Christian schools in Hall County have announced a merger.
By B.J. Williams
5:03PM ( 5 hours ago )
VIDEO: Annual agriculture tour makes three Hall County stops
For the third year in a row, a group of state officials, including the President of the University of Georgia, toured several agricultural interests in the state. Wednesday's Georgia Department of Agriculture and UGA Farm Tour focused on Northeast Georgia.
4:48PM ( 5 hours ago )
Kentucky man identified as victim in Banks Crossing pedestrian accident
A Kentucky man was the victim of a pedestrian accident at Banks Crossing late Tuesday night, according to the Georgia State Patrol.
2:36PM ( 8 hours ago )