Governor Pat McCrory made the announcent that the final roadblocks have been cleared. This will allow the N.C. Department of Transportation
to continue with construction of a new Herbert C. Bonner Bridge on N.C. 12 over the Oregon Inlet in Dare County. “This marks another historic milestone in finally replacing the critical lifeline bridge for residents and visitors of the Outer Banks and supporting our continued efforts to connect North Carolina,” Governor McCrory said. “I want to thank the entire team of NCDOT employees, state, and federal attorneys who have worked so hard to make this possible and find a solution for the Bonner Bridge project which had been stalled for more than 20 years.”
Environmental groups that are represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center have dropped all remaining lawsuits that prevented NCDOT from replacing the old Bonner Bridge with a new bridge parallel to the existing one. NCDOT and the contractor expect to complete final design and preconstruction work in time to begin building the new bridge in the Spring of 2016. NCDOT is also planning to construct a new interim bridge over the breached inlet on Pea Island, and also construct a 2.5 mile-long Pamlico Sound bridge from the southern end of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge into Rodanthe.