The Mid Currituck Bridge just took a major step toward becoming reality. The Federal Highway Administration has approved the Record of Decision (ROD) for the bridge.
The ROD outlines how the project is going to move forward, and is the final document needed to beginning the bid process for construction.
Construction, however, is not imminent.
There is a six-month comment period on the ROD, and typically groups that are going to contest a project wait until the end of the comment period to drag out the process as long as possible.
The Southern Environmental Law Center has voiced concerns about the MCB and has presented an alternative they feel is viable. The SELC is the most likely to file a law suit, although there are others who may also object.
The MCB has been a concept since 1975 and has been a part of highway planning in northeastern North Carolina since 1995. In 2006 it was determined that a toll bridge was the best alternative for the project, and the North Carolina Turnpike Commission took over the project.
The MCB will lop 40 miles off the trip to Corolla from the Wright Memorial Bridge., That, however, was not the most important reason for building the bridge, according to the NCDOT. In the purpose and need for crossing the Currituck Sound at Aydlett, the Environmental Impact Statement filed for the bridge pointed to hurricane evacuation as the most important factor in building it.
The $440 million project will, according to NCDOT “… include a new 4.7-mile, two-lane toll bridge across the Currituck Sound and a 1.5-mile long bridge across the Maple Swamp, as part of the mainland approach road. The project also includes improvements to N.C. 12 and minor enhancements to the Wright Memorial Bridge, aiding in hurricane evacuation.
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