Discovery of Rare Spider Changing $15 Million Contruction on 1604
The Hwy. 151 and Loop 1604 project is supposed to alleviate current and projected traffic congestion on the interchange by turning 151 into an underpass connecting to Alamo Ranch Parkway, but now the project’s completion date is in limbo.
Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Josh Donat said the agency will have to work with the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to redesign the roadway.
“We’re determined that the process of redesign is going to be lengthy enough to where the responsible thing to do here is to go ahead and release our contractor of any future obligations,” said Donat.
In September, a spider known as the Braken Batcave Meshweaver was found in a cave where the mainlines were supposed to go. The spider hasn’t been seen for 30 years and is under the Endangered Species Act’s protection.
More information on the Braken Batcave Meshweaver from Natureserve
“Anytime you’re dealing with a species that’s protected like that we need to show that we’re responsible stewards of our state natural resources,” said Donat.
Donat also said that right now there is no time table for when the $15 million project will be completed; originally set for the end of 2013.
“We’re moving forward with it, we just need to be responsible in the way that we do that,” Donat said.