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Boling Bridge demolition will account for ospreys
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A constructed platform where osprey are encouraged to nest instead of Boling Bridge at the Hall-Forsyth county line is shown on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017. - photo by David Barnes

If you’ve been wondering about something in your community, Ask The Times is your place to get answers. The following question was submitted by readers and answered through the efforts of our news staff.

What is going to happen to the osprey nests on top of the bridge on Ga. 53 when the new bridge is done? Has anyone made plans to relocate them?

The old Boling Bridge will be demolished during a part of the year when the nests aren’t being used by the ospreys. Nesting platforms at the top of two 65-foot wooden poles have been placed near the bridge to encourage the birds to nest there. One of the platforms was removed and will be relocated soon. The Georgia Department of Transportation, Jackson EMC, Scott Bridge Co., the Audubon Society and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were all part of that project.

“We have not seen any birds nesting on the sites as of yet, but we will wait patiently,” Jackson EMC spokeswoman April Sorrow wrote in an email. “They had already returned this year before we put up the platforms, so I guess they had already made their decision for this year. We are hopeful for next year.”

According to federal law protecting migratory birds, nests such as the ones on the old bridge can be destroyed as long as they are not active, meaning there are no “eggs or (birds) present.”

Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Katie Strickland said the construction schedule accounts for the ospreys.

“We are not allowed to touch the bridge during the nesting season for the osprey. Once that season is over, (we) will be cleared to demolish the bridge,” Strickland wrote in an email.

The overall project is scheduled for a March 2019 completion.

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