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Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Higher bridge rails mean safer flying for purple martins

Like the cliff swallows in the song "When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano," graceful purple martins return every spring to favorite, familiar places. They roost on steel beams under bridges such as the US 190 Bridge over Trinity River in Polk County, Texas. In the past, as the birds flew up and over this bridge, many cleared the bridge rail only to be hit by oncoming traffic. Not anymore. The Texas Department of Transportation added a 6-foot-high chain link fence to the top of the bridge rail on both sides of the bridge. Thanks to this simple solution, the bridge's purple martins now fly high and safe.
 
--Apr 25, 2003

Robert Allen, (936) 633-4302 or rallen3@dot.state.tx.us

Photo shows chain link fence mounted on top of bridge rail along both sides of brige
Photo by John S. Miller, Texas Dept of Transportation
Chain link fence prevents purple martins from flying too low

On or Near Bridges - Texas
Updated: 12/12/2012
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