Interstate 355 (I-355), a 20-mile (32 km) interstate highway and tollway located in the western suburbs of Chicago, USA is to be extended and its likely extension is going to adversely effect a certain species of dragon flies.
Their locations border the Des Plaines River valley, site of a new 1.25-mile bridge for I-355, just one of the few areas left in the world where the Hine’s emerald dragonfly remains. Somatochlora hineana is a dragonfly in the family Corduliidae
Fortunately, they are to be relocated. The bugs’ natural habitat is to be rebuilt on the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve.
History of these Dragonflies
In 1995, after the insect was declared endangered, the federal government considered blocking construction of the 12.5-mile extension because of the potential negative impact. The project was allowed to continue keeping in mind certain precautions.
Before reporting to their jobs, construction crews assigned to I-355 are required to receive special training on working in the delicate environment. If any equipment flattens the winged ones, the carcasses must be preserved in plastic baggies.
The idea of replicating the insect’s natural, marshy surroundings came out of negotiations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The move might just work could make the Hine’s emerald dragonfly population stronger and bigger than they have been in years.
Source: The Herald News