A judge awarded $450,000 to the environmental groups and attorneys who challenged the City Council’s approval of a bridge connecting the two ends of Regents Road in University City.

The activists alleged the city didn’t properly study the impacts of building the road across Rose Canyon or consider other alternatives to ease the traffic flow between the northern and southern portions of the University City community.

The city decided to do the studies after the lawsuit was filed, but said it didn’t owe the environmentalists’ legal fees, claiming its decision to do the studies weren’t spurred by the lawsuit.

Monday’s ruling requires the city to pay more than the environmentalists were willing to settle for months ago, said Marco Gonzalez, a lawyer for the plaintiffs.

It’s the latest legal setback in environmental disputes for the city, in which Sanders and a council majority often ignore the advice of City Attorney Mike Aguirre. Read here for more about how that dynamic has played out unfavorably for the city in recent cases.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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