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VDOT: HRBT expansion project cost 25K birds their nesting site

VDOT crews finished paving the south island of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel last month, and in doing so removed the nesting area of a large bird colony.

NORFOLK, Va. — Virginia transportation officials confirm 25,000 seabirds lost their nesting site of 40 years when it was paved over during a tunnel expansion project. 

A department spokeswoman told The Virginian-Pilot that crews finished paving the south island of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel last month, and in doing so removed the nesting area of a large bird colony. 

Efforts to rehome the birds were largely abandoned after the Trump administration revised the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in 2017, loosening consequences for bird deaths during construction. 

Researchers think some birds will return to try and lay eggs at the bridge site, while others will fly off to find another home.

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