Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge project work suspended over bird’s nest

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.

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.

Shayna Estulin

Shayna Estulin is an anchor/reporter for WTOP. She started her career in New York City as a local TV reporter and has since covered foreign affairs and national politics as a Washington correspondent. She also anchored a nightly news show for an international network.

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