The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that a $2.2-billion toll road, part of the Triangle Expressway in the Raleigh-Durham area, will not negatively affect two species of endangered mussels.
The decision will create a path for the final portions of the project to move forward, according to The News & Observer.
The agency determined that the new toll road would not significantly increase development and that the mussel population could be protected if proper care is used during construction.
After this decision, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) will not have to raze residential areas, businesses and other commercial developments as part of a proposed alternate route.
NCDOT will also invest $5 million in a hatchery that will study and then release the threatened dwarf wedgemussel and yellow lance mussel.