Human species plays second fiddle to obscure endangered mussel
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Department of Transportation have delayed repair of the Orth Road bridge project frustrating drivers and costing hundreds of thousands of future tax dollars to fix damage occurring to alternative roads used since the bridge was closed.
Why? There is the possibility that there are obscure, small dark-colored spike mussel habitats in the Boone County creek that passes under the bridge, so the bridge will remain closed until state officials can relocate the spike mussel, which they are not even sure are there!
All that officials have found thus far is a shell that was “four miles Northeast” of the bridge project in 2011 – two years ago. Really? This substantial finding prompted the stoppage of work, while they search for the mussel’s habitats in the creek, which is being delayed because the water is too high to check at this time.
The bridge has been closed since February 2012 after a portion of the bridge beam collapsed, but it is the mussel, which is breaking the backs of the people that need to use the bridge. The bridge could be closed for a total of three years as follows:
The project could be pushed back even further if state officials cannot relocate the spike mussels this fall. If they are relocated in spring 2014, the completion of the project will likely be pushed back to winter 2014.
Meanwhile, motorists will continue to wear down Dawson Lake Road when traveling between Illinois 76 and Caledonia Road. Rapp said average daily traffic increased from 1,150 cars to 2,223 cars once the bridge was closed.
It makes no difference to the Department of Natural Resources or others like them, that there is only an assumption that the mussel is present in the creek, causing frustration to the human inhabitants or that damage is occurring to alternate roads that were not constructed for such traffic.
To naturalists and environmentalists, the human species is simply another species inhabiting the planet and not exactly their favorite species because of our supposed destructive nature to Planet Earth.
The naturalists, if they find the habitats by crawling on their knees will relocate them upstream so sediments from the construction projects do not endanger the mussels and then check back years later to see if the spike mussels reproduced or if they exist in the same concentration. If not, will the bridge be torn down, lawsuits filed against Boone County – what?
What if the relocation area is downstream from another project that might produce sediment and again endanger the mussel habitats? Will the habitat be moved upstream from that one, also? Maybe humans should just stop constructing bridges?
These environmentalists feel that the plight of endangered species is directly due the growing presence of humans that continue to engulf other species’ habitats and thus endanger them and threaten our global environment – like fixing the Orth Road bridge, obviously!