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National bio-defense lab completion date moved to October

Dec 18, 2020  | Ep4618

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — The completion date for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan has been moved to October of 2021, federal officials said.

The biolab was originally scheduled to be completed in December but federal officials announced in April the deadline would be moved because of disruptions in supply chains and employee availability caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate on Tuesday announced the revised "substantial completion" date. That's the day when the USDA will have full access to the plant and be responsible for it operation.

The revised date also allows time to address necessary technology upgrades and installation of USDA-funded equipment, the agencies said.

The project is still expected to still come in under its $1.25 billion cost estimate.

Once complete, researchers at NBAF will study diseases that can be spread from animals to humans.

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