New Hampshire bypass issue heads to federal court

News The Union Leader September 15, 2006
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New Hampshire's three federal judges have all stepped down from a case involving a controversial road in Concord, N.H. Now the case over the proposed Langley Parkway will be heading to a federal court in Bangor, Maine, the Union Leader newspaper reported.

Opponents of the bypass want the judge to temporarily halt construction until the case is decided. They say the court should revoke a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, claiming the corps did not comply with the Clean Water Act and other federal laws, according to the newspaper.

City planners have been hoping to build the bypass for more than 50 years. It would run from I-89 to the area near Concord Hospital, but opponents say it would destroy open space and might not improve traffic in the area.

Judge Steven McAuliffe cited several reasons for dropping out of the case, including a recent contribution of $10,000 to Concord Hospital. The hospital, the city and St. Paul's School are sharing the cost of the $6 million bypass, the Union Leader reported.

The case was reassigned to Judge Joseph DiClerico, who stepped down with no explanation. McAuliffe then filed an order recusing all of the New Hampshire judges from the case and referring the matter to Maine, according to the newspaper.

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