Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration
Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

Wildlife Protection

Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

"Being careful" and "being specific" protects swallow nests on bridges

When Ohio Department of Transportation construction crews prepared to put the finishing touches on the newly built Putnam Street Bridge in Washington County, they discovered about 25 cliff-swallow nests on the underside of the bridge. The eggs in the nests had hatched, and in a few weeks the young birds would leave the nests and fly away. The workers made sure no construction work occurred near any occupied nests, and since sandblasting is a rather-slow process, they were able to continue working without frightening-off the birds and without delaying the project. On another project - reconstruction of the County Line Road Bridge in Franklin County and a popular bridge-nesting site for cliff swallows - the Department specified the date in project bidding documents on which construction work could begin. In both cases, cliff swallows continue to return to the bridges, building their nests in the corners and crevices of the bridges' undersides and successfully fledging their young.
--Apr 25, 2003

Bill Cody, (614) 466-5198 or

Close-up view of cliff swallow nests
Photo by Thomas E. Linkous, Ohio Department of Transportation
Cliff swallow nests on County Line Road Bridge

View Photo Gallery

On or Near Bridges - Ohio
Updated: 12/12/2012
HEP Home Planning Environment Real Estate
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000