N.C. state rep files bill to kill Garden Parkway plan

news@lakewyliepilot.comFebruary 21, 2013 

According to Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, N.C. Rep. Dana Bumgardner filed a bill Wednesday to kill the proposed Garden Parkway toll road project.

A copy of the bill can be viewed at http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2013/Bills/House/PDF/H134v0.pdf.

If the bill passes, it is good news for water quality in Lake Wylie, said Riverkeeper Rick Gaskins today.

The Garden Parkway, also known as the Gaston East-West Connector, is a planned toll road approximately 21.9 miles from I-85 west of Gastonia in Gaston County to I-485 near the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in Mecklenburg County with new crossings over the South Fork and Catawba Rivers. The new toll road is estimated to cost about 15 cents per mile and save drivers up to 28 minutes each trip, according to www.ncdot.gov/projects/gardenparkway.

"The proposed project would have a substantial negative impact on Lake Wylie in terms of sediment, trash and other pollutants," Gaskins said.

The Catawba Riverkeeper, Clean Air Carolina and the Southern Environmental Law Center filed a lawsuit against the project last summer and the case is currently scheduled for mediation next week.

"In order to avoid unnecessary litigation costs, we are discussing with the court and opposing counsel the possibility of postponing the mediation and related litigation until the N.C. General Assembly votes on the bill," Gaskins said.

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