Illiana highway ruling slowed by wildlife concerns

(WISH Photo, file)

PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana Department of Transportation official says U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concerns over how the proposed Illiana Expressway toll road might impact endangered species and habitat has delayed final federal approval.

Project manager James Earl told members of the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission on Tuesday that federal officials are reviewing how the expressway would affect the endangered sheepnose mussel and the threatened long-eared bat along with its impact on the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Illinois.

The Times of Munster reports Earl said the federal decision originally expected last month should now come by September.

The planned four-lane highway would run between Interstate 65 near Lowell in northwestern Indiana and I-55 near Wilmington, Illinois, southwest of Chicago. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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