Eagles will delay road project

Work on Highway 20 is halted for two months due to nesting eagles.

The eagles have landed. And that means the state has postponed paving Highway 20 south of Oak Harbor until mid-July.

State transportation officials said Thursday afternoon the road project has been put on hold until July 15 because of a pair of bald eagles that are nesting nearby.

State and federal laws require a wide berth around the protected bird when it is nesting and raising its young.

The state Department of Transportation will now wait two months before the final layer of asphalt is added to Highway 20.

It’s the latest delay to hit the project. The state tried to finish it last year, but weeks of wet weather prevented crews from finishing the job before October.

Paving still needs to be completed between Eagle Vista and Scenic Heights. State officials said work crews need five nights of dry weather to finish the paving.

Under the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the state could face financial penalties for disturbing the eagles while they are nesting.