Environmental, racial justice activists join lawsuit against Champlain Parkway

Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 11:58 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 10, 2022 at 12:17 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Environmental and racial justice activists are joining a lawsuit against a long-planned road project in Burlington.

The coalition of groups says the Champlain Parkway “relies on a legally insufficient traffic analysis” and does not meet legal obligations to consider the environmental impacts on residents.

The chief complaint centers on concerns the completed roadway will dump more traffic into the Maple and King streets neighborhood, causing undue harm to the most diverse population in the city.

Burlington officials contend the parkway will ease traffic in that neighborhood because it will include a spur connecting Pine Street to Battery Street, bypassing the Maple and King neighborhood.

Construction of the $47 million project is slated to begin this summer. The last phase linking to Interstate 189 is not due to be finished until 2027.

The Champlain Parkway was previously known as the Southern Connector. It has been in the works for decades in an effort to move traffic from Interstate 89 to downtown Burlington.

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