Judge OKs work on Illinois highway some say threatens bee


CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge says work can proceed on a suburban Chicago highway on which construction was halted because of concerns it threatened an endangered bumblebee.

U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman said Friday opponents of work on the nearly 6-mile-long (9.6 kilometers) Longmeadow Parkway in Kane County, Illinois, failed to show it put the rusty patched bumblebee at risk.

The plaintiff’s bee expert, entomologist Sydney Cameron, failed to show up and testify in support of an affidavit filed with the court.

The judge said Cameron’s statement was “not at all definitive.” She added supportive testimony offered by the original plaintiff, Geoffrey Petzel, had “limited value.”

A Kane County official says the project should get back on schedule with an extra push from construction contractors.