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Work on W.Va. 9 expansion halted due to endangered species

$21 million diverted from project

June 20, 2008

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- A tiny crustacean has halted work on an Eastern Panhandle road project, and $21 million set aside for that work is now going elsewhere.

The state Department of Transportation has to devise a plan to protect the habitat of a rare isopod, a half-inch crustacean living where W.Va. Route 9 is being widened between Charles Town and the Virginia border.

That could take a while, because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has to sign off on the plan.

Because the highway funds would be lost if they weren't allocated by Oct. 1, Gov. Joe Manchin shifted the money to road work in Fairmont.

Lara Ramsburg, Manchin's spokeswoman, said money will be restored to the project once the isopod situation is settled.

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