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Rare spider puts halt to pipeline project

UPI News Service, 02/26/2013 

Construction of a Texas water pipeline was halted due to the discovery of the same spider that halted a highway project.

The San Antonio Water System said construction of the six-mile pipeline was halted with less than 1,500 feet to go when a Texas Department of Transportation crew working on a different project uncovered a cave containing the endangered Braken Bat Cave meshweaver spider, a federally protected species, the San Antonio Express-News reported Tuesday.

SAWS spokeswoman Anne Hayden said the spider, which also caused construction at Loop 1604 and Texas 151 to be halted, has left the future of the water pipeline uncertain.

"All of this is still up in the air," Hayden said.

Josh Donat, spokesman for the Department of Transportation's San Antonio office, said officials are redesigning the underpass project to allow it to continue.

However, SAWS officials said it could take years for the pipeline project to get back on track since obtaining a permit to carry out construction in an area inhabited by an endangered species could take two years.

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