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Environmentalists sue over Gaston County toll road

CHARLOTTE (AP) — Conservation groups have sued in federal court to stop approval of a proposed toll road in North Carolina’s Piedmont, saying environmental reviews were flawed and hid the project’s shortcomings.

The Southern Environmental Law Center said it filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Charlotte seeking to stop construction of the Garden Parkway. The 22-mile route will link Gaston County to west Charlotte. Construction is slated to begin next year, but environmentalists want the project halted until a better environmental impact statement is prepared.

The center said the analysis of the project by the state Turnpike Authority and Federal Highway Administration left a misleading picture of costs and benefits related to alleviating congestion and growth.

A federal appeals court delayed a Union County toll road earlier this year after a similar lawsuit.

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