Mon, May 09, 2005
Costs Triple Of Original Estimates
Indianapolis Airport Authority has spent over $1.3 million
recently buying new land for the endangered Indiana bat (Myotis
sodalis) in order to make room for a midfield terminal project.
This amount is on top of $21.6 million that has been spent since
1990 for bat and wetland environmental mitigation projects.
The Indiana bat is three to four inches long, with about a
ten-inch wingspan. They weigh less than half an ounce. The bats
roost under loose bark on dead trees in the summer. They hibernate
in caves during the winter and can pack as many as 300 bats into a
The authority had originally estimated that $475,000 would be
enough money to buy the land it needed, but a landowner insisted
that the airport buy an entire parcel of propert rather than just
the piece it wanted, according to Dennis Rosebrough, spokesman for
the airport management firm BAA Indianapolis.
"Those laws were passed by Congress to protect endangered
species and that's what we had to do," said Rosebrough to the
Indianapolis Business Journal.
The airport authority has been purchasing land for years,
recently adding 130 acres to 1,600 acres already set aside to
accommodate the displaced critters. The authority will plant
hundreds of acres of new hardwood trees for the bats and monitor
their populations. Over the years, the airport authority has
planted over 250,000 trees.
Interstate 70 currently runs south of the airport, and has been
recently moved slightly to allow room for Fedex to expand its cargo
hub and to provide an entrance for the midfield terminal building
that is scheduled to open in 2008. A new tower is under
construction as well.
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