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Illinois road project stung by judge’s endangered-bee ruling

CHICAGO (AP) — A bee has halted a multimillion-dollar road project in suburban Chicago that’s designed to ease traffic congestion.

The particular insect question is known as a rusty patched bumblebee. A federal judge in Chicago ruled this week that its endangered status meant construction on that nearly 6-mile road had to stop.

In March, it became the first bee species in the continental U.S. to be declared endangered after suffering dramatic population declines. Researchers are investigating the causes, looking at pesticide exposure and habitat loss as possible culprits.

Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman issued the temporary restraining order Monday in response to a filing by opponents of the Longmeadow project. Project advocates include the Kane County Department of Transportation, according to the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

The order will remain in place at least until April 25 as the legal proceedings move forward.

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