By Mike DeNardo

OCEAN CITY, N.J. (CBS) — Wildlife and transportation officials at the Jersey shore are trying to find out why seagulls are getting hit by cars on Ocean City’s new Route 52 causeway.

The new, $400-million bridge between Somers Point and Ocean City opened right before Memorial Day (see related story), and drivers seem to love it.

But the bridge has had an unforeseen byproduct: seagulls meeting their demise by flying into traffic.

“It’s almost like they’re sitting on the railing, taking off toward the fishing pier, and (smacks hands together) the unfortunate happens,” says George Muller, assistant manager of the Humane Society of Ocean City.

Muller says several dozen seagulls have been struck by cars since the bridge opened, and only a few could be saved.

He says it appears the gulls are trying to fly from the railing on the north side of the bridge to the fishing pier on the south side. But they’re flying into, not above, the oncoming traffic.

Muller suggests an addition to the bridge: “Just a small little piece of fencing. That might be enough. It only needs to be six inches high. At least then they’re taking off up, over the fence.”

State transportation officials say they are trying to find a solution before any humans in vehicles are injured.

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