Now that a crucial section of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge has been replaced by a new $6.4 billion span, nobody needs it anymore — nobody except about 800 birds who call the decrepit, 78-year-old segment home.
The double-crested cormorants – protected, though not endangered – have nested along the bridge for decades, and have so far shown no interest in relocating to the shiny new section that replaced the eastern section of the famed bridge. Officials have tried pricey decoys, bird recordings and even specially-made nests installed underneath the new span to lure them roughly 100 feet next door. The effort to demolish the old section, damaged 25 years ago in the massive Loma Prieta earthquake, is being held up by the birds’ unwillingness to move, and critics, who say the delays could cost taxpayers $33 million, are crying fowl.
“They’re spending $33 million to get rid of these 800 birds – that comes out to about $40,000 a bird- that’s more money than most people in the United States make in a given year!” said Brian Sussman, a conservative radio talk show host in San Francisco.
We’re million-dollar, gold-plated idiots.