Full text of the SELC letter to N.C. Transportation Secretary

Mar. 06, 2013 @ 05:00 PM

Dear Secretary Tata,
With the attached letter and supporting documentation, I am writing to bring to your attention the substantial confusion that persists regarding the purpose and impacts of the proposed Monroe Bypass.  
In particular, I want to make you aware of a resolution being circulated in Union County with regard to the Bypass.  This resolution lists a number of reasons to support the Monroe Bypass, including many that sit in direct opposition to NCDOT’s own findings.
For example, the resolution states that the Monroe Bypass will bring growth to Union County, whereas NCDOT has repeatedly stated that it will not.  Similarly, the resolution states that the Bypass will free up US 74 for local traffic, while NCDOT has indicated that the Bypass will not substantially improve congestion on US 74.
As an additional matter, it has come to our attention that a number of local elected officials and other decision-makers are under the impression that NCDOT’s decision-making process with regard to the Monroe Bypass is “closed.”  As you know, federal law requires that the decision making process remain fully open until the public has been fully presented with all relevant information and given an opportunity to supply comments and other input.
In light of this confusion at the local level, we respectfully request that you issue a public statement clarifying the purpose and likely impact of the Bypass and making clear that the decision-making process regarding the Bypass and other alternative solutions remains very much open.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Kym Hunter
Staff Attorney
Southern Environmental Law Center
601 West Rosemary Street, Suite 220
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27516-2356
Phone: (919) 967-1450; Fax: (919) 929-9421