Deadline to Award Contract to Build Monroe Connector-Bypass Extended

The State of North Carolina obtained an extension for the contract to design and build the Monroe Connector-Bypass.

Monroe Bypass Constructors LLC's bid was set to expire Sept. 30. But when there was no ruling by that date, the state asked the group to extend its technical and price proposals by one month to Oct. 31, according to N.C. Turnpike Authority spokeswoman Reid Simons.

The project would start along U.S. 74 near the Mecklenburg County line and Interstate 485, run briefly east and then roughly parallel U.S. 74 until it reconnects with the highway west of Marshville.The state has stopped all work on the project until the ruling is issued. This move delays the sale of the remaining project-related bonds to help finance the road, the formal awarding of the design-build contract and other work.

Last November, three environmental groups sued the state to block the bypass, claiming an environmental impact study was biased toward building the road and failed to seriously consider cheaper alternatives. The Southern Environmental Law Center represents the N.C. Wildlife Federation, Yadkin Riverkeeper and Charlotte-based Clean Air Carolina in the case.

Read full story by Adam Bell, The Charlotte Observer