Active migratory birds nesting under the Pawnee bridge will delay the scheduled bridge repair project. The birds were initially discovered by construction crews, and because nests are federally protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the bridge repair will be delayed by approximately one month.
City of Wichita staff members are working together with representatives from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The nests will be reviewed again in two weeks to determine if nesting activities are complete, but a longer duration is a possibility.
During this time, Pawnee will be temporarily open to traffic again, beginning as early as Thursday. Message boards and media outlets will be used to notify motorists in advance of the later closure resulting from the delayed project.
The $3 million project to repair the bridge, originally built in 1961, has a target completion date of summer 2017.