A rendering of the Mid Currituck County Bridge presented at the Southern Shores meeting.

A rendering of the Mid Currituck County Bridge presented at the Southern Shores meeting.

Will the Mid Currituck Bridge ever get built? It’s a question that stressed out drivers have been asking for years. With Outer Banks summer traffic backing up 10 to 12 miles at times on weekends, it’s a relevant question.

The bridge which is widely considered the most viable alternative to alleviating the chronic summer traffic jams, continues in a holding patters.

At least that is the take away from a Southern Shores virtual meeting on the Mid Currituck Bridge.

Before a socially distant gathering of about 20 residents on Monday evening, North Carolina Turnpike Authority representatives Rodger Rochelle and Jennifer Harris discussed the current status of the bridge.

Harris, who is he project manager and has been working on the Mid Currituck County Bridge for at least 15 years, outlined some progress although it was limited in scope The Coast Guard has given approval for 40’ center spans above the water. It is an important approval because Currituck Sound is a navigable waterway.

However, she did not indicate if any permits requests had been submitted to the myriad of other permitting agencies.

A Lawsuit Causes Delay

Rochelle, however, led off the presentation with the bad news. Pending litigation from the Southern Environmental Law Center had moved the date to let the contracts back eight months. The new date according to NCTA is June of 2022. The old date was in October of this year.

If the court challenge is overcome and the June 2022 schedule holds,  construction still wouldn’t start until sometime in 2023, with a bridge opening in 2025 at the earliest.

Spanning Currituck Sound at Aydlett, 14 miles north of the Wright Memorial Bridge, the proposed span will bypass the Dare County portion of the Outer Banks. There is agreement that doing so will give traffic relief to the towns of Duck and Southern Shores and the residents of southern Currituck County.

The Mid Currituck Bridge will be a toll road.

Things are really picking up on the Outer Banks. It may be difficult to find a place to sate this summer, but fall is wonderful and a Brindley Beach Vacations home makes it even better.