State News

Basnight seeks Obama's backing for Outer Banks bridge

Posted February 26, 2010

The Herbert C. Bonner Bridge connects Hatteras Island with the mainland.

— State Senate leader Marc Basnight has asked President Barack Obama to remove what he calls legal bottlenecks for building a new bridge to the Outer Banks.

Basnight wrote this week to Obama that construction of the replacement for the aging Herbert C. Bonner Bridge is at a "bureaucratic standstill" because of a maze of complex and repetitive questions from the federal government.

"We continue to face unnecessary delays from a government that is more worried about the litigious threats of out-of-state environmental groups than about the public safety and economic well-being of the millions of motorists who cross the bridge every year," he wrote. "I plead with you to right this wrong that has wasted millions of dollars and infinite red tape over the years."

The 47-year-old bridge crosses Oregon Inlet and is a key highway corridor for hurricane evacuations and Outer Banks tourism. A replacement bridge will cost more than $1 billion.

The Dare County Democrat asked Obama to urge the Interior and Transportation departments to accept a design approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers.

"I would argue that the Bonner replacement project is the most studied bridge in the history of our country. It is far past time to take action," he wrote.

32 Comments

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  • Retired07 Feb 26, 2010

    If Basnight wants it, then I am against it.

  • jas1022 Feb 26, 2010

    Hey, mabe if they stopped dredging 24 hrs. a day 7 days a week to keep the inlet open and let it fill in, they could build a road across it.

  • Cricket at the lake Feb 26, 2010

    Soothsayer said it best! The Democrats cater to all these environmental groups. All the locals had their land stripped from them by imminent domain for the National Park Service and now they can't even drive down their own beach. Can't wait to be on Hatteras for a week in August!

  • whatusay Feb 26, 2010

    Money might be budgeted but this country is broke and needs to stop spending money we do not have. Basically what is being said is, we are borrowing the money from China and Japan to build this bridge.

  • heavye Feb 26, 2010

    I mean really, everybody knows that this is the guy that runs the state government anyway.He is gonna get what he wants, the heck with state employees and teachers pay and health benefits...... Lets build another bridge to his County....HIP HIP HOORAY!!!!! You Gotta Love these Democrates!!!!!

  • soothsayer Feb 26, 2010

    A state senator, responsible for creating state bureaucries and red tape, complaining of federal bureauracy and red tape? Welcome to your world, Senator Basnight.

  • ratherbnnc Feb 26, 2010

    so dwarner2 and whatusay, it seems you dont pay any attention to the previous posts. This money has already been budgeted years ago. The problem is the environmentalists stopping everything. This bridge is the lifeline for 1000s of people who live and work on Hatteras Island. They depend on it to commute to work, to Doctors and Hospitals,and for businesses to stay open for deliveries. Tourists also bring in tax money to the state. How would you like it if the road you live on were closed and you couldnt get anywhere? Pretty ridiculous comments you make.

  • DasStonecutter Feb 26, 2010

    Bridge is already paid for, just need approval to build it since it is on federal land. It's not an issue of paying for it, its a made up green/environmentalism issue.

  • whatusay Feb 26, 2010

    Make it a toll bridge and let those who use it pay for it. I am sure lots of private contractors would take up the project with toll boths on all lanes.

  • whatusay Feb 26, 2010

    No way tax payers should foot the bill for this bridge... People have 2 weeks to evacuate before a hurricane but decide to leave 1 hour before a hurricane hits and then blame the government.

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