Monroe Bypass Project-Updated Project Schedule

The North Carolina Department of Transportation issued an update for the highly controversial Monroe Bypass project. Not surprisingly, the schedule of the project has been delayed due to a legal challenge.

The Monroe Bypass (Also known as the US 74 Bypass) would extend from the Mecklenburg-Union line eastward to Marshville and while officials had hoped to have completed an environmental study document of the project by this spring, the revised schedule shows the new date as late 2013.

The Bypass project ran into legal problems via the Southern Environmental Law Center. The center forced the DOT to halt planning process on the project which includes the acquisition of property. The center’s concern, which a federal appeals court agreed with last May, is that the DOT failed to adequately study the impact of the road on the environment in Union County.

This delay also caused the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the environmental permit for the Monroe Bypass. This permit is needed for any road that crosses water or wetlands and the DOT will not be able to apply for a new permit until the new environmental study is complete.

 The new schedule for the project released by the DOT is as follows:

Draft a supplemental environmental document — Summer

Public comment period on the supplemental environmental document draft — Summer

Final supplemental environmental document — late 2013

Record of decision — late 2013

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