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I-73 in Virginia clears a legal hurdle

Though it is years away from even construction, Interstate 73 in Virginia - from Roanoke to the NC state line - appears to have cleared a significant legal challenge.

U.S. District Court Judge James Turk has denied Virginians for Appropriate Roads complaint on the environmental studies of the future Interstate. One of their key objections is that the Virginia Department of Transportation prepared an environmental study of the road based on the entire route being built at once, not in various stages/segments that will be done of a lengthy period of time.

Virginians for Appropriate Roads (VAR) argued that not enough of the study was focused on upgrading US 220 to Interstate standards. Upgrading and improving, US 220 was the preferred choice for VAR.

VDOT had argued that when I-73 was created in 1991 legislation. That Congress' intent was to build a new highway as a faster and safer means of transportation in the area. VDOT said that improving and upgrading US 220 would not have the safe impacts as a new alignment for I-73.

Turk's decision said that VDOT had done all the planning and studying required by law on the route, and that they would not have to continue any further in including a study of improvements to US 220.

VAR asked for the judge to reconsider and that motion was also denied.

The judgement now allows VDOT to restart planning for the highway with the Federal Highway Administration. Planning halted in October 2007 when the lawsuit was filed.

Lawyers representing VAR are considering filing an appeal of Turk's rulings with the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Story Links:
Group's challenge to I-73 denied ---Myrtle Beach Sun News
Road gets tad more open for I-73 ---Roanoke Times

Comments

Anonymous said…
VAR is idiot. There are many business along US 220 from NC to Roanoke, thus thats why VDOT says it can not be upgraded to interstate standards.. LET them build I-73.

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