Road work stopped by bumblebees
Road work stopped by bumblebees This 2016 file photo provided by The Xerces Society shows a rusty patched bumblebee in Minnesota, which was officially designated an endangered species March 21, 2017. (Sarah Foltz Jordan/The Xerces Society via AP, File/AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
Road work stopped by bumblebees
Lexile: 930L

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A highway in suburban Chicago has become the second Midwest road construction project delayed because of concerns about possible harm to a bumblebee. The bee was recently listed as an endangered species.
U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman halted work on the nearly 6-mile-long Longmeadow Parkway. It is in Kane County, Illinois. Work will be stopped until at least April 25. The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reported the judge's order was in response to a filing by project opponents. They said the roadway could affect the rusty patched bumblebee.
According to court documents, the bumblebee was found in the Brunner Family Forest Preserve. The area is along the planned route for the parkway, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald reported.
The holdup could boost the project's costs by tens of thousands of dollars, said Carl Schoedel. He is the county's transportation director.
"Every day that we're not working during the construction season is a potential delay to the project," Schoedel told the newspaper.
The rusty patched bumblebee became the first bee species in the continental U.S. added to the federal endangered list in March. It was once common in the Midwest and parts of the East Coast. But it has disappeared from nearly 90 percent of its range in the past 20 years.
Along with other bees, it plays a crucial role as a pollinator of crops and wild plants.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service deals with endangered species. It is not involved in the parkway dispute, said Louise Clemency. She is a supervisor in the agency's Chicago field office. But she said the planned route is within an area considered to have a "high potential" for the presence of the bees. They were spotted there as recently as 2012.
The federal agency is providing information to the Illinois Department of Transportation about surveying the planned route for signs of the bees and ways to protect them. Those might include providing more habitat, Clemency said.
Even if the bees are found there again, it's "highly unlikely" they would prevent the road from being built. But minor alterations might be needed, she said.
Minnesota's Hennepin County delayed work last month on a 4-mile stretch of a road. It is called Flying Cloud Drive. That is because of concern about the endangered bees. But federal officials visited the area and determined it was not within a high-potential zone for the bees, said Andrew Horton. He is a biologist with the Fish and Wildlife Service.
The county plans to move forward with the project, spokesman Colin Cox said. It still needs federal permits dealing with issues not related to the bees.

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Why is the judge protecting the bees?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • joshuaa-bur
    4/27/2017 - 12:52 p.m.

    The judge is protecting bees because these bees are endangered. To me though I would think that it was kind of excessive for some bees to stop all that.

  • dylanc3-bur
    4/27/2017 - 12:52 p.m.

    I think the judge is protecting bees because of many reasons. The first reason is that they are endangered.In addition, bees are a part of our nature they are a major role in pollination. I personally like bees if they are not in attack mode!

  • annakatew-bur
    4/27/2017 - 12:57 p.m.

    The judge is protecting the bees because they are on the endangered species list.I can relate to this because if I had the power to protect an endangered species, I wouldn't hesitate.

  • jeremiasm-bur
    4/27/2017 - 12:57 p.m.

    Bees are an endangered species, and the judge knows bees are very useful to society, pollinating and producing honey. Since they are becoming rare, we are doing what we can to preserve these useful insects.

  • neaves-bur
    4/27/2017 - 01:00 p.m.

    The judge is protecting the bees because they are an endangered species of bee and have disappeared from 90% of their natural range.

    I'm really happy that this bee is being protected from anyone who is building an ugly road in its habitat and this seems really important that we protect our environment especially during a time where pollution is very common.

  • breannad-bur
    4/27/2017 - 01:00 p.m.

    The judge is protecting the bees for many explainable reasons. They are endangered species, and are pollinators of crops and wild plants. They make honey, which we can use for not only eating, but also to export to countries with no honey for trade and income. Bees have a critical role in the lives of citizens in the United States. I agree with Sharon Johnson Coleman. She has made a great decision by halting the road work, and letting the bees live.

  • tayshaunb-bur
    4/27/2017 - 02:03 p.m.

    the bees are an endangered species that needs to bee protected. Get it? any way it reminds me when there was a tree that had a bunch of bees.

  • noemig-bur
    4/27/2017 - 08:14 p.m.

    The bees are endangered. I feel that the Judge is doing the right thing.

  • connoro-bur
    4/27/2017 - 09:35 p.m.

    They were protecting them because they were just enlisted a endangered species. Last time I checked there was a million of them in my backyard!!

  • Amaris-mar1
    4/28/2017 - 12:05 a.m.

    C the character was Sarah Foltz Jordan.
    P The Chicago daily law bulletin reported the judges order was in response to a filing by project opponents.
    R The country plans to mow forward with the project, spokesman Colin cox said . It still needs federal permits dealing with issues not related to the need.

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