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Citizens Expressway Coalition v. Lewis

Citation: 12 ELR 20157
No. Nos. LR-C-81-124, -586, 523 F. Supp. 396/(E.D. Ark., 09/30/1981)

The district court upholds the adequacy and scope of an environmental impact statement (EIS) prepared for a highway project in Arkansas involving construction of a 25.3-mile bypass linking the completed section of Highway 71 at Bella Vista with the Fayetteville Loop. The court rules that defendants did not unlawfully segment a larger highway project in preparing an independent EIS for the bypass alone since this section of highway has utility independent of any improvements that might be made to other sections of Highway 71. The court next rules that the EIS adequately discussed all reasonable alternatives and contained sufficient information to allow a reasoned choice among those alternatives. In particular, the court finds that the alternative of improving existing traffic arteries would be economically infeasible and would not alleviate existing traffic problems. In addition, the court rules that (1) the EIS adequately explored and considered the project's impact on the area's archaeological resources, (2) the sufficiency of the final EIS was not affected by its failure to include design details, and (3) the Federal Highway Administration's review of the EIS was adequate.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
R. Douglas Schrantz
Kendall & Schrantz
P.O. Box 474, Rogers AR 72756
(501) 636-7522

James R. Jackson
34 E. Center St., Fayatteville AR 72701
(501) 442-8769

Counsel for Defendants
Thomas B. Keys, Cief Counsel; Christopher O. Parker
Arkansas Highway and Transp. Dep't
9500 New Benton Hwy., Little Rock AR 72203
(501) 569-2271

Robert L. Neighbors, Ass't U.S. Attorney
P.O. Box 1229, Little Rock AR 72203
(501) 378-5342