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Speed limit reduced on NC bridge for purple martin roost


The annual summer purple martin roost has begun on Croatan Sound, and that means it is time for motorists to slow down for the birds. Beginning tonight, the N.C. Department of Transportation will temporarily lower speed limits from 55 mph to 20 mph on the William B. Umstead Bridge at dusk and dawn. According to a news release, the west end of the bridge becomes home to as many as 100,000 purple martins from late July through August as they prepare for their annual migration to Brazil. The birds roost under the bridge at night, departing at dawn to feed, and returning at sunset. The flock is so large during its peak that it can be spotted on radar.