10.02.07

Burr Calls for Consensus on Future of North Shore Road

Without consensus, road agreement is “only fair option”

U.S. Senator Richard Burr today called for local communities to reach a consensus on the future of the North Shore Road. Burr's statement comes on the day the Department of the Interior (DOI) released its long-awaited Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), a major milestone in a six-year effort to determine the environmental effects of the planned road.

"The Department of the Interior's environmental report on the North Shore Road is another step in this long process," Burr said. "But until there is consensus among the local communities to do anything other than build the road, I believe the existing plan should continue. Right now, there is no clear consensus within Swain County about changing the 1943 agreement, and without all four parties agreeing to a change, the 1943 agreement to build a road is the only fair option," Burr added.

The North Shore Road agreement dates back to 1943, when the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) sought to build a dam on the Little Tennessee River. Under the memorandum of agreement, Swain County and the State of North Carolina agreed to give the TVA over 44,000 acres in property. In return for their property, TVA and DOI agreed to construct a road along the north shore of the new reservoir to replace Highway 228, which was flooded as a result of dam construction. The road has yet to be built, leaving the citizens of Swain County uncompensated for their losses.