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Road barriers may be modified after pelicans deaths in Texas

Posted: 3:55 PM, Oct 22, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-22 16:55:46-04

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) – Solid median barriers along a South Texas highway could be modified to better protect nesting pelicans from being struck and killed.

The Brownsville Herald reports more than 40 brown pelicans were killed Oct. 15 along Highway 48 connecting Brownsville and Port Isabel.

The Texas Department of Transportation has posted flashing signs along the highway, where the speed limit is 75 mph, warning drivers about the birds.

Pelicans fly from the Brownsville Ship Channel into the Bahia Grande for nesting. Experts say the northernmost concrete median, during strong winds, can create a vortex and cause birds to drop onto the road.

TxDOT officials say rails with open passages, for air flow, could be ready by late 2019.

More than 60 pelicans were killed by vehicles during similar conditions in December 2016.