Judge stops work on Circ Highway

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(Host) A federal judge has ordered the state to halt work on the Circumferential Highway in Chittenden County.

VPR’s John Dillon reports:

(Dillon) The state was set to resume construction on the $222 million highway on Tuesday morning. But late Monday, U.S. District Court Judge William Sessions ordered the state to stop work on the project.

Sessions ruled in a case brought by several environmental groups. They argued that the state and the federal highway administration violated federal law by relying on a 17-year-old environmental assessment for the project.

Judge Sessions agreed. He said that the environmental documentation for the project is “legally inadequate.” The judge said that the 1986 environmental assessment failed to take into account the rapid growth seen in Chittenden County’s. Sessions said construction cannot proceed until the federal government develops a more up-to-date environmental study.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m John Dillon.

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