DOT asks court to reconsider decision to halt Monroe Bypass

by: Tina Terry Updated:


MONROE, N.C. - Transportation leaders are trying to move forward with plans for the controversial Monroe Bypass.

The Department of Transportation officially asked a court Friday to rehear its case to build the road. Last month, the court halted construction because of the environmental impact.

Some of the families who live off of Highway 74 said they were recently told it could be six months before they will know if they have to move.

The past few weeks have been a waiting game for people like Dennis Bell, who lives on Fowler Road, directly in the path of the Monroe Bypass.

“I’m renting my property. It’s a great area out here. I don’t want to go anywhere. I like it out here,” he said.

Despite their feelings, people in the area had been preparing to move until a court decision in May halted the entire project.

The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals said the DOT and the Federal Highway Administration failed to “analyze the environmental impacts” of the bypass.

But, in a petition filed Friday night, the DOT asked the full court to review “legal analysis arising out of technical data and facts” that the state believes the court misunderstood.

Now, homeowners who were preparing to move said they have been told the land acquisition process could be on hold for up to a year.

It’s frustrating news for people trying to prepare for the future.

The spokesman for an environmental group that opposed the project said he expects the court to deny the request because the original decision was a unanimous decision.

Next week, the Turnpike Authority will answer residents’ questions about the Monroe Bypass.

Monday night’s meeting will be at the Next Level Church on Stevens Mill Road in Stallings. Tuesday night’s meeting will be held at the Union County Agricultural Center on Presson Road in Monroe.

Both meetings start at 6 p.m.