A family of ducks has moved into the new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, and it’s holding up construction.
The District Department of Transportation said Wednesday that the bridge’s west traffic oval recently became home to a mother mallard duck and her eggs.
The #NewFDMB West Oval recently became home to a mallard duck and her eggs. Mallards are wild ducks protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. As their hatch cycle is 28 days, construction will be suspended on the West Oval during that time. #WednesdayWisdom #DYK #themoreyouknow pic.twitter.com/usEmFCJaAb
— The New Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge (@newfdmb) May 4, 2022
Mallards are wild ducks and are federally-protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, making it illegal to move an active nest without a special permit — even if it’s in an inconvenient location, like a major construction project.
DDOT said in a tweet that construction would be paused on the west traffic oval until the 28-day hatching cycle is complete.
In a statement, DDOT told WTOP that in order to prevent abandonment, no human intervention will take place and that they will “continue to monitor the area to ensure the bird’s safety.”
DDOT also said that the situation isn’t impacting traffic.
The new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge opened to drivers in September.