We are talking about 182 projects that will be delayed at this point anywhere up to nine months. The total cost of these projects? Between $400 and $500 million. And it all started because of one unwitting bat.
No one in Gilmer County probably noticed. Last summer the Apple capital of Georgia was visited by an Indiana bat. It was wearing a tracker because it's an endangered species.
But when that lone bat flew into Gilmer County, the Georgia Department of Transportation then had to check the surrounding areas. They found 30 counties with the potential for Indiana bats. Those counties contain 182 projects.
In Midtown Atlanta, where the buildings are taller and the bats are fewer, a spokeswoman for GDOT explains what's next.
Jill Goldberg, GDOT Spokeswoman 17:42:45 "We're looking at the most vital projects, the ones where delaying those will cause the biggest impact to our program."
They will use an acoustic device to hear the bats and mist nets to trap the bats and put a tracker on them. This is all required by the federal government.
Jill Goldberg, GDOT Spokeswoman 17:44:57 "There is gonna be some expense to that, maybe $5-6 million on the initial projects ..."
Bats don't always have the best reputations, but Indiana bats actually are known to benefit the environment by feeding on insects and pests like gypsy moments. This is the first Indiana bat spotted in Georgia since the 1960s. Matt Pearl, 11Alive News ...