Illinois road project stung by judge's endangered-bee ruling

Apr 19, 2017

The Rusty Patched Bumble Bee, or bombus affinis, is on the U. S. Endangered Species list.
Credit Tony Ernst / Flickr/Creative Commons

CHICAGO (AP) - A bee has halted a multimillion-dollar road project in suburban Chicago that's designed to ease traffic congestion. 

It's the rusty patched bumblebee and a Chicago federal judge ruled this week that its endangered status meant construction on that nearly 6-mile road had to stop. 

In March, it became the first bee species in the continental U.S. to be declared endangered after suffering dramatic population declines. Researchers are investigating potential causes, including pesticide exposure and habitat loss. 

Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman issued the temporary restraining order Monday in response to a filing by opponents of the Longmeadow project. Project advocates include the Kane County Department of Transportation.  

 The order will remain in place at least until April 25 as legal proceedings play out.