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NCDOT Prepared to Progress on 7-Mile Toll Bridge

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

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The North Carolina Department of Transportation is moving closer to a project construction date for the Mid-Currituck Bridge, a project that has been beset by decades of delays. The record of decision for the bridge is currently slated for October.

Currituck County Manager Dan Scanlon noted that construction on the seven-mile, two-lane toll bridge would begin in July 2020, with a completion date anticipated for 2024.

Mid-Currituck Bridge

According to the Daily Advance, the bridge—which would span Currituck Sound, connecting the Currituck mainland with Corolla on the Outer Banks—has been planned for years: The project was first scheduled for construction in 1989. Both local and state officials have fought to make the project a reality, as it could potentially alleviate congestion on Caratoke Highway during the summertime.

The price tag currently stands at $440 million, and according to Scanlon, the project “was on the books in the 1970s.” Rodger Rochelle, chief engineer for the N.C. Turnpike Authority, has also agreed that the project is moving forward, noting that while some hurdles still remain, there has been a fair bit of progress within the past year.

North Carolina Department of Transportation

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is moving closer to a project construction date for the Mid-Currituck Bridge, a project that has been beset by decades of delays. The record of decision for the bridge is currently slated for October.

NCDOT is currently waiting on a review of an environment state impact statement that was originally completed in 2012. Given that more than three years has passed since then, however, NCDOT had to re-evaluate the material to determine if there were any changes to the project environment. If everything in the EIS is in order, a record of decision that would include financial and project scope details would follow soon after.

Project History, Opposition

Costs associated with the Mid-Currituck Bridge, first proposed roughly 25 years ago, fluctuate between $489 million and $660 million. Previous financing proposals have included public-private partnerships; state appropriations and gap funding; and tolling, according to Coastal Review Online. With the current project $440 million price tag, NCDOT would cover $173 million, said Carly Olexik, NCDOT public relations officer.

Those who support the project claim that the bridge would relieve congestion on the bridge that most often occurs in the summertime. The Mid-Currituck Bridge could shave an hour off on the drive from Virginia.

Project opponents have also claimed that the bridge would damage the environment, while also bringing in more people than the local community could handle. Bridge opposition group No Mid-Currituck Bridge has also said that tolls would have to be up to $50 to cover the cost of the bridge.

According to NCDOT, the project includes a two-lane bridge that spans the Currituck Sound, as well as a second two-lane bridge that spans Maple Swamp on the Currituck County mainland.

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Department of Transportation (DOT); Government; Infrastructure; Project Management

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