Illiana highway ruling slowed by wildlife concerns

(WISH Photo, file)
(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.

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