Phases 3 and 4 of the 900-East project require bat studies

        The Daviess County Commissioners heard an update on the County Road 900-East Project at a regular meeting last night.  Highway Supervisor Phil Cornelius told the commissioners that a final walk through of the completed phase was done last week and the contractor, Milestone has five days to complete a punch list. That mainly has to do with correcting some erosion and drainage issues.

        Cornelius informed the commissioners there would a $14,000 cost added to phases 3 and 4 as a new US Fish and Wildlife mandate calls for environmental studies on bat habitats to be done on all drainage structures in the realm of the phases.  Before, the study was only required on pipes that were 14 inches wide or bigger, but new regulations require the study on all structures.  That means there’ll be a study on about 60 pipes and culverts as opposed to about 15.   Basically, the engineering firm, Lochmueller and Associates will conduct visual inspections to see if the Indiana Bat is living in a pipe and submit the required government reports.  The engineering contractor did try to argue their way out of the mandate but, the work will have to be done at the additional cost.