Rare spider halts Texas road project

SAN ANTONIO — A $15 million San Antonio highway underpass project under construction since spring will have to be scrapped and completely redesigned after a rare spider was found on the construction site.

The Braken Bat Cave meshweaver was found about a month ago at the Texas 151-Loop 1604 intersection in northwestern San Antonio. The spider is listed on the federal endangered species list and was found after rain exposed a 6-foot-deep natural hole on a median.

Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Josh Donat says the state, after consulting with federal wildlife and transportation officials, has scrapped the idea of an underpass. He says the contractor has been released and an overpass design will be needed to avoid disturbing the habitat.

The new design will need federal approval since the habitat is protected.

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