Route 52 Roadkill Recommendation Expected by Monday
Herring gulls are flying into traffic on the reconstructed Route 52 causeway between Ocean City and Somers Point.
The state is expected to make a recommendation by Monday on a strategy for protecting the herring gulls that are dying by the dozen on the reconstructed Route 52 causeway.
Since the completion of the new elevated causeway in the spring, the gulls have perched on the railing on the north side of the four-lane highway — putting them on a collision course with the vehicles driving by at more than 40 mph. It remains unclear if some sort of wind or draft phenomenon contributes to the problem.
Ocean City Business Administrator Mike Dattilo reported to City Council on Thursday night that an environmental consultant, the state Department of Transportation and the State Department of Fish, Game and Wildlife have been studying both causes and solutions.
"Something has to be done," Dattilo said. "We're concerned for the wildlife and for the safety of motorists."
Dattilo said one potential solution could include the installation of spikes to prevent the gulls from perching on the railing.
"We don't see a downside to trying that," he said.
The state would bear the cost of any modification to the railings.
A six-year, $400 million project to reconstruct the Route 52 causeway between Ocean City and Somers Point is in the final stages. It is expected to be fully complete by the end of the year with the opening of a mid-causeway visitors center and a separate lane for bicycles and pedestrians.