State releases new schedule for Monroe Bypass environmental stud - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

State releases new schedule for Monroe Bypass environmental study

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The NC Department of Transportation released an updated schedule for the environmental study of the Monroe Bypass project in Mecklenburg and Union counties, nearly a year after a federal court threw out the state's original environmental analysis for the project and ordered the state to go back to the drawing board.
The updated schedule is as follows:
•       Draft supplemental environmental document  – Summer 2013
•       Public comment period on draft supplemental environmental document – Summer 2013
•       Final supplemental environmental document – Late 2013
•       Record of Decision – Late 2013
Because of the updated schedule, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers withdrew the project's 404 environmental permit until an updated construction timetable is established. 

NCDOT will need to reapply for this permit before construction of the road begins because it is a requirement for road projects that cross water or wetlands.

NCDOT will coordinate with the USACE once the environmental study is complete and construction activities are able to resume.
NCDOT Division Engineer Louis Mitchell says the department is committed to this project. "The bypass is important to regional mobility, and we are working diligently to move it forward," Mitchell said. "We also are committed to full transparency and disclosure throughout each step of the process."
The Monroe Bypass is a proposed 19.7-mile long roadway on new location from U.S. 74 at I-485 in eastern Mecklenburg County to U.S. 74 between the towns of Wingate and Marshville in Union County.

The purpose of the project is to improve mobility and capacity within the project study area by providing a facility for the U.S. 74 corridor that allows for high-speed regional travel, while maintaining access to properties along existing U.S. 74. 

A design-build contract was awarded in November of 2011; however, all construction activity is on hold until NCDOT can complete the environmental study to comply with the court decision resulting from legal challenges brought on by the Southern Environmental Law Center.

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