Pines Boulevard resurfacing concerns addressed by FDOT
Eagle watchers have expressed concerns that the extensive repaving of Pines Boulevard may disturb the eagles in their nest. Probably the most critical time for the eagles is the pre-flight stage. This occurs when the eaglets begin "helicoptering" and walking out on the branches at about 10 weeks of age.
If startled or frightened at this time, they may fall to the ground before they have the ability to fly. Unless they are able to climb back up to the nest, they will starve or fall prey to predators, as the thick growth around the nest may impede the ability of the adults to fly to their aid.
Since our eaglets are now a little over seven weeks old, we can expect them to be most vulnerable around the middle to the end of March. In past seasons they have fledged at about 11 weeks, which would be March 26. We can then expect the fledglings to return to the nest within a day or two to be fed, and continue to be dependent on food at the nest for about another 6-8 weeks as they gradually learn to feed themselves by taking increasingly long flights from the nest tree.
FDOT has provided the revised Construction Schedule for Pines Blvd. It is available at this link (PDF):
To view the schedule you must enlarge the view considerably and then navigate to the pertinent areas where construction is delayed or restricted. Reference numbers are noted below. The long green bar extending from now until May 15th at the middle of the first page is, for the eagles, the most important feature of the schedule.
The revision includes measures to avoid undue disturbance of the area in front of the eagle nest until May 15th.
As a further precaution, the contractor will not stage construction equipment in the dead-end on the south side of the SW 209th Avenue intersection.
Activity Id Numbers, first right hand column, P117, P118, P119,P119.2, P142, P230, P230.5 AND P223 are related to the construction work from station 44+00 to station 57+00 (restricted area).
The start and end date for each activities are shown on columns 4 and 5.