Environmental Groups Appeal Monroe Bypass Decision

Three environmental groups filed an appeal today with the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals of a federal judge's decision that rejected their efforts to stop construction of the $718 million Monroe Connector-Bypass.

"We are hopeful that this appellate review will consider key facts and yield a different finding about how the (state) agencies' flawed analysis supported their foregone conclusion to build the bypass," said Chandra Taylor, a lawyer with the Southern Environmental Law Center.

The center is representing the N.C. Wildlife Federation, Yadkin Riverkeeper and Charlotte-based Clean Air Carolina.

The 19.7-mile road would be the first modern toll road in the Charlotte region. It is meant to ease congestion on U.S. 74 in Union County, which is used by Charlotte area commuters, truckers and vacationers. The bypass would start along U.S. 74 near the Mecklenburg County line and Interstate 485, run briefly east then roughly parallel U.S. 74 until it reconnects with the highway west of Marshville. It is expected to open by late 2015.

Full story by Adam Bell originally appeared in The Charlotte Observer October 31, 2011.