A rare garter snake found crushed at a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) construction site will cost the San Francisco agency more than $1 million.
BART's board of directors approved a lost-time payment of $1.07 million to the contractor working on the agency's airport extension project, where work was delayed for approximately 18 days last year as wildlife officials investigated the snake's death and developed a list of measures to prevent further harm to the rare reptiles. The striped gartner snake is an endangered species that lives in a marshy area west of San Francisco International Airport.
Because of the snake’s presence in the marsh, construction crews were required to comply with a long list of special precautions. After the dead snake was discovered in the spring of 2000, environmental officials ramped up protections, requiring that workers be transported to the site in buses rather than their own cars and reducing the speed limit on the construction site.