There is a word for canceling a $100 million road project because it would interfere with a single nest of a non-endangered species.

The word is ridiculous.

But the announcement that the Army Corps of Engineers has said that the long-discussed bypass around Wiscasset cannot go forward isn’t the only thing ridiculous about this story.

Eagles aside, why is the state considering spending $80 million to $100 million on a road project, when we are already incapable of maintaining the roads that we have?

Saving a single eagle’s nest may be a dumb reason to shelve this project, but that doesn’t mean that shelving the project is dumb. It could be the smartest thing to do at this point.

Traffic tie-ups have been an issue on Route 1 in Wiscasset for decades, particularly on summer weekends when drivers have to stop for pedestrians, or just to take a look at the self-named “Prettiest village in Maine.”

The Maine Department of Transportation has been working with residents, business owners and environmental protection agencies, looking for a route that through traffic could follow, but has had a hard time finding a way around the sensitive wetlands along the Sheepscot River.

The Army Corps identified a potential route, and the state was moving forward, when they found the nest.

Wildlife biologists were dispatched and determined that it was indeed an eagle’s nest, even though there were no eagles in it.

It appears to be a new nest, built over the last year, and could be a backup nest that eagles sometimes build and might never use.

Still, federal law requires a 650-foot no-development zone around such a nest, and moving the proposed road to accommodate it would create other environmental problems.

Now the DOT is trying to decide how to proceed.

But given the state’s financial woes and the huge backlog of road and bridge repair projects that lack funding, the question is why the state should proceed at all.

As annoying as those summer traffic jams can be, they are not the end of the world. There may be other ways to redirect traffic on existing roads that would ease the congestion.

It would be appropriate if a nonsensical ruling protecting what may or may not be a bird’s home is what it takes to bring the state to its senses.