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Yadkin Riverkeeper Files Another Lawsuit Against Monroe Bypass Project

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region

The Yadkin Riverkeeper is challenging the water quality permit for the Monroe Bypass. This is the second case in court that involves the proposed 20-mile toll road.

The lawsuit claims the state failed to consider less destructive alternatives to alleviate traffic congestion on Route 74.

Kym Hunter is an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, which filed the lawsuit.

"The state has not done a proper assessment of how much worse water quality would get. Essentially NCDOT and the state are taking the position that building this bypass would not bring any new growth to the region and wouldn’t have any impact on water quality."
The North Carolina Department of Transportation declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The SELC and the Yadkin Riverkeeper identified other options they want the DOT to consider, instead of building a bypass.They say things like upgrading the existing highway, adding additional lanes, and improving stop light timing would reduce traffic congestion.

The proposed bypass would cost taxpayers $850 million and has been the subject of legal controversy for the last five years.

In 2010, environmental groups filed lawsuits saying the DOT didn’t properly conduct an environmental impact study. The environmental groups won, and the DOT had to redo the study. That study was completed in 2014, but the Riverkeeper challenged the study again. That case is still pending.