A major San Antonio Highway construction project has been delayed, and project costs have tripled because of an endangered species of spider discovered on the construction site.
During the early phases of a highway construction project in 2012, workers discovered the Bracken Cave meshweaver spider in its small cave habitat under the job site. The dime-sized spider turned out to be only the second of its kind ever discovered. The first specimen was found in 1980.
With the spider on the U.S. Endangered Species list, the construction project had to be delayed while plans were made to protect the creature. The project was initially expected to be finished in 2013. Because of the delays, however, the construction won’t begin until sometime in 2015, according to CBS News.
Delays and revisions to the San Antonio construction project have nearly tripled the cost, increasing the initial $15 million budget to almost $45 million.
The San Antonio construction project was intended to improve traffic flow in an area where the population continues to increase.
It’s not uncommon for construction projects to clash with endangered species conservation. Resolution of these conflicts usually requires careful collaboration between the project and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reach a compromise that protects the creature while allowing the construction to continue in a revised form.
In San Antonio, the habitat of the Bracken Cave meshweaver spider has been protected by redesigning and converting the original highway underpass into an overpass.
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