Project # R-3329, R-2559
Type: New toll freeway
Affected Counties: Union, Mecklenburg
Estimated Cost: $7.8 million, funded
Completion date: To be decided based on pending legal appeal
The Monroe Bypass will be a controlled-access 19.7-mile multi-lane toll freeway planned to run from U.S. 74 at I-485 (the Charlotte Outer Loop) in eastern Mecklenburg County to U.S. 74 between the towns of Wingate and Marshville in Union County. It will be the state’s second toll road.
The bypass is intended to improve traffic along U.S. 74, which is an important roadway in Union and Mecklenburg counties that provides direct access to many retail and commercial developments. The project is intended to provide “high-speed regional travel consistent with the designations of the North Carolina Strategic Highway Corridor Program and the North Carolina Interstate System.”
- Union County Weekly: “Residents remain concerned about proposed Monroe Bypass“
- Union County Weekly: “Seminars to focus on property in bypass’s path“
- Enquirer Journal: “Meeting set for bypass property owners“
- June 18-19, 2012: The North Carolina Turnpike Authority held public meetings to discuss the status of the Monroe Bypass project and how the timeline will be affected by pending legal action.
- June 15, 2012: The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) filed a petition with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, asking for a rehearing to provide clarification on facts of law.
The court ruled in favor of the NCDOT after the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) challenged the environmental documents for the Monroe Bypass. However, the SELC filed an appeal with the Fourth Circuit. On May 3, 2012, the court overturned the original decision in favor of the NCDOT. The petition for rehearing asks for a review of the legal analysis of facts that the state believes were misunderstood by the court.
While it is waiting for a decision on its petition, the NCDOT will look into conducting an additional environmental study and will stop most work on the project.
- Draft Environmental Impact Statement: Completed
- Final Environmental Impact Statement: Completed
- Record of Decision and Environmental Permits: Completed
- Financial Close: Completed
- Right-of-Way Purchase and Construction Start: First and second quarter, 2012
- Open to Traffic: To be determined, pending legal appeal
The Southern Environmental Law Center is currently appealing a decision to allow the Monroe Bypass being built, and the North Carolina Department of Transportation estimates that the project will be restarted in early 2013.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation contacted all property owners within the affected areas and completed making offers on May 3, 2012. Hardship requests from property owners were completed May 21, 2012.
Prior to beginning the right-of-way acquisition to take the properties, the NCDOT conducted an assessment of what properties might be affected by the project. Up to 16 “detailed study alternatives” were identified – or possible points along the route for the new freeway.
The total number of residential relocations ranged from 94 homes to 149 homes, depending on the final route identified. Three farms would have to be relocated in any scenario chosen.
Eleven neighborhoods will be impacted by the project. Neighborhoods include Acom Woods, Windward Oaks, Forest Park, Madison Ridge, Fairhaven, Woodbridge, Millstone Estates, Independence Village, Eagle Crest, Blackberry Ridge, Gold Hill, Acorn Woods, Bonterra, Suburban Estates, Little Park, Poplin Farms, Avondale Park, Silverthorn, Greenbrook, College Park, and Glencroft.
Most properties will experience right-of-way encroachments or access issues, though some would be displaced entirely. No neighborhood would be entirely displaced.
If your property will be affected, contact one of our attorneys for a free case evaluation.