TODAY | October 07, 2012
>>> it was supposed to be the answer to a traffic nightmare, but in san antonio , texas, a major construction project has come to a complete halt all due to an underground discovery that's pitting conservation efforts up against frustrated drivers. here is nbc's janet shamblian.
>> reporter: this is deserted now, an underpass to ease construction at a biggest bottlene bottleneck.
>> it is quite congested.
>> reporter: but the project is now on hold due to the discovery of an endangered spider. it's about the size of a dime.
>> what's significant about it, it's the first time we've seen it in 30 years. a lot thought it was extinct and it showed up. it's exciting.
>> reporter: the. [ en beck was found in a hole right in the middle of a construction zone. there was only one spider found but because it is a federally prote protected endangered species and there could be a spider habitat in the ground below here, it has all but canceled the plans for the underpass. it's not the first time. endangered tortoises and lizards have held up solar projects and oil drilling . but an itsy-bitsy spider? critics say it's like something out of a horror movie.
>> you know, stopping this project when we've only seen a couple of these spiders in decades really doesn't make a lot of sense.
>> reporter: the texas department of transportation is back at the drawing board but a work around for the 80,000 drivers who pass through here each day could be years away.
>> it's ridiculous. surely we can do something else with the spider.
>> reporter: a tangled mess as a rare spider creates a web of complication. janet shamlian nbc