The Illinois Tollway originally planned to begin reconstruction of the I-90 bridge over the Fox River this spring, but that plan for the $75 million project is being put on hold to allow the fish in that section of the river to finish spawning, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Fox River near Elgin, Ill., does not harbor any endangered or threatened species but is home to smallmouth and largemouth bass, channel catfish, walleye, bluegill, muskie and pike.
Delaying the start of construction until June 15 will allow the fish to mate, lay eggs and let the eggs hatch in peace. In addition, the Tollway wants to protect an unusual nearby wetland, known as a forested fen.
The Tollway’s plans for wildlife and wetland conservation were developed in cooperation with the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, the state Department of Natural Resources and the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation.
The bridge reconstruction project is the largest contract within the Tollway’s $2.5 billion rehabilitation of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway between the Kennedy Expressway north of Chicago and Rockford, Ill. The highway and bridge will be widened from six to eight lanes to better accommodate more than 100,000 daily vehicles. Construction should be completed by the end of 2016.