In March, North Carolina legislators introduced a bill to remove restrictions placed on considering the so-called I-540 “Red Route” through Garner. House Bill 10 was subsequently amended, and the third version (referred to the Committee on Rules, Calendar and Operations of the House as of March 12, 2013) would also remove authorization for three major projects from the Turnpike Authority. Those major projects are (1) the Garden Parkway (also known as the Gaston East West Connector); the Cape Fear Skyway; and the Mid-Currituck Bridge. The bill does not propose to terminate the projects; however, it does mean those projects will now have to compete with other Department of Transportation projects for scarce funding.
On June 29, 2012 the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Department of Transportation’s petition to reconsider the court’s earlier ruling invalidating the DOT’s environmental study for the Monroe Bypass. In the earlier opinion, decided May 3, 2012, the Fourth Circuit ruled that the DOT “failed to take the required ‘hard look’ at environmental consequences” of the construction of the Monroe Bypass. As a result, the DOT’s engineers and consultants are “working hard to gather additional data required to address the concerns of the court, ” according to a July 19, 2012 press release. Continue reading “NC DOT takes another look at Monroe Bypass environmental data after the 4th Circuit declines to reconsider case”