A federal judge on Monday heard arguments from Albemarle County business owners who believe the government forwent proper environmental impact studies to fast-track plans for a grade-separated interchange at Rio Road and other U.S. 29 projects “virtually overnight.” If successful, the plaintiffs in the case, Mimosa LLC and Rio Associations, would bring Route 29 Solutions at least to a temporary halt.
Mark D. Obenshain, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, argued in favor of an injunction on the $84 million intersection project. Obenshain told Judge Norman K. Moon that, instead of looking at environmental impacts comprehensively, the Virginia Department of Transportation violated the National Environmental Protection Act by dividing portions the series of highway improvement projects on U.S. 29 into segments.
Obenshain, a Republican state senator, also argued that certain segments of the project should not have been granted categorical exclusion from an environmental study the Federal Highway Administration conducted.
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~ The Charlottesville Daily Progress