by Phil Prazan
It's a major project that's expected to bring a major economic boom with it. A new interchange is coming to Interstate 80 on Alice's Road.
The project was going along smoothly until they discovered an Indiana Bat at another location a half a mile away. This bat is an endangered species, so the animal and its habitat is protected under State and Federal law.
The construction equipment sitting by where Alice's Road crosses over I-80 might sit there longer than officials expected.
In mid May a study has to be done to see how many Indiana Bats are near the construction site. If there aren't any found the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will give the go ahead.
But if they find more of these little flying animals the vital transportation project could be delayed by months.
"We would be asked maybe to plant some trees somewhere else. Maybe potentially design around some of the habitat. It can take a lot of different ways, but the idea is lets protect the habitat and still allow you to build your project," says Steve Gaer, the Mayor of West Des Moines.
The original plan would have the project finished in 2014 but West Des Moines officials say if they have to change the project due to the bat, it might not be done until 2015.