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Judge denies request to halt bridge construction

A U.S. District Court judge has denied an environmental group’s request to stop construction of a Midlands bridge.

“Friends of the Congaree Swamp” had filed legal action against the South Carolina Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration to permanently halt construction on the replacement of the U.S. 601 bridge. The bridge is in Richland County and runs through the flood plain of the Congaree River and the Congaree National Park.

The request was denied on April 27th by U.S. District Judge Margaret B. Seymour. The group complained that DOT failed to do enough research on the potential effects on the swamp’s wetlands, thereby violating the National Environmental Policy Act.

Construction on the bridge began last summer and is projected to be finished in 2013.

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