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Mobile County Sewer System Sues ALDOT

By Associated Press

Mobile, AL – Mobile County water officials have sued the Alabama Department of Transportation and its highway contractor for alleged environmental damages from muddy runoff on a U.S. 98. project.

The Mobile Area Water and Sewer System (MAWSS) filed the suit Tuesday in circuit court.

The suit seeks an immediate halt to all construction at the U.S. 98 rerouting project in west Mobile in favor of widening the existing U.S. 98 corridor.

Montgomery-based W.S. Newell and Sons, the road-building contractor, is accused in the suit of negligence. A company spokesman was unavailable for comment.

ALDOT officials said it had not review the suit and declined to comment. Transportation Director Joe McInnes already has issued a public apology for the damages.

A department of transportation spokesman said about $2.2 million was spent in an attempt to install required environmental controls and repair environmental damage documented in a series of stories in the Press-Register.

The Mobile newspaper documented large amounts of mud washing from the miles-long construction area and into area streams, forests, wetlands and Big Creek Lake, Mobile's only drinking water source.

Another group, Mobile Baykeeper, said it plans to file a separate federal suit against ALDOT, alleging that the agency violated the Clean Water Act.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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