UK & World News

  • 5 March 2013, 19:54

Lone Bat Halts $31m Road Construction Project

A single endangered bat is holding up a $31m (20.4m) road construction project in Iowa.

The female Indiana bat was found just under a mile from the proposed Interstate 80 interchange south of Waukee, west of Des Moines.

The bat is considered endangered by both state and federal agencies.

Federal officials have asked for a $30,000 (20,000) study to determine whether the Indiana bat population would be harmed by the interchange construction.

The Des Moines Register reports that the discovery of the bat is not likely to kill off plans for the interchange.

But it comes as local authorities prepared to start work on a final design, with officials aiming to get construction under way later this year.

"It's coming up at the last hour where this bat was found five-eighths of a mile from the site, and now all of the sudden they want to bring this site into the analysis," West Des Moines Mayor Steve Gaer told the newspaper.

"It seems to me that it's so far away, why bring this site into it, but they've got the ability to request that we do that."

Despite its endangered status, the Indiana bat population in the US has decreased by a half to under 400,000 in the past 40 years.