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State to Use Wire to Protect Gulls on Route 52 Causeway

The strategy is designed to prevent gulls from flying into vehicles on the reconstructed roadway.

The state will run 800 feet of parallel wire in an attempt to keep herring gulls away from what has proven to be a deadly perch: the railings of the reconstructed Route 52 causeway between Somers Point and Ocean City.

Since the completion of the new elevated causeway in the spring, gulls have rested 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. The shoulders of the causeway have been littered with roadkill from the gulls flying into cars and trucks.

New Jersey Department of Transportation spokesman Joe Dee announced the plan on Friday. He said the contractor still working to complete the final stages of the causeway reconstruction project will install two wires a short distance above the railings to prevent the birds from landing there.

The strategy has proven effective in other locations — including many restaurants and cafes with outdoor seating.

The state worked with a consultant, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife to make the recommendation. The experts said the gulls are likely perching on the railing to look for fiddler crabs.

The work is expected to be complete in about a month.

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.

KC September 04, 2012 at 11:25 AM
Poor Vergil, their goes his road kill food supply
Robert McKenna, MIKE September 04, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Good to see an environmentally friendly solution to a dangerous situation.
Bob September 04, 2012 at 01:13 PM
The gulls are nuisance wheather it's on the beach, boardwalk or bridge. This is a great opportunity to thin out the flock. Put up some gull decoys on the bridge and let the duck hunters practice prior to the duck season. The gulls won't have to suffer anymore by flying into cars. It's a win win for everyone.
Sabrina September 04, 2012 at 02:34 PM
You do realize that the beach is THEIR natural habitat, right? If you find them such a nuisance, why on earth would you go to where THEY live? It just amazes me how many people are so quick to thin out the animal population, without a second thought to how fast the human population keeps growing. A little common sense goes a long way.
Brian Kelley September 04, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Bob, I guess Sabrina never had a fried gull sandwich...delicious!!
Linda September 04, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Sabrina is right. We humans have invaded the natural habitat of many species and forced them out. Gee come to think of it we invade our own species - look how close the houses in OC are built together. On another note: Only 800 feet of wire? I hope the seagulls have their measuring tapes tucked somewhere under their feathers.
Wilda Connor September 04, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Sabrina, I'm with you! These guys aren't even a little amusing.
Betty White September 04, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Save your speech and go back to the habitat!
vic September 04, 2012 at 06:07 PM
sabrina, while the beach and the sea is the natural habitat for sea gulls, at one time they were proficient hunters. today, they are nothing more than scavengers that wonder hundreds of miles inland in search of easy meals. they have turned in flying rats. and like rats, the less the better.
Bob September 04, 2012 at 06:23 PM
SPLAT.... YEA GOT ANOTHER ONE.. BOB
Robert McKenna, MIKE September 04, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Sea gulls have turned into flying rats and a nuisance, but is entirely because the people created an environment they had to adapt to survive. Whether it's sea gulls at the shore, or pigeons in the city, their population explosion is a direct result of our waste, our trash, everywhere you look. The beaches have trash containers, and people regularly throw their garbage right on the sand, rather than use a receptacle. The population of gulls on the bridge could be very hazardous, people suddenly braking, or losing control of their car, because a gull hit a windshield and frightened the driver. A humane response like the wire is necessary.
lOCalmom September 05, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Kudos to the wire plan...I for one hope it works and diminishes the number of Seagull deaths/accidents. @ Bob, Vic and Brian...did I hear y'all volunteered to "play in traffic" to help put up the wire????
Bob September 05, 2012 at 01:01 PM
I'd love to put the wire up as long as it was a 10KW electric line feed from the BL England Powerplant.

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