N.C. nears deal for toll bridge to northern OBX
Posted October 19, 2009 7:18 a.m. EDT
Updated October 19, 2009 8:18 a.m. EDT
COROLLA, N.C. — State officials and environmentalists are nearing a deal to build a 5-mile bridge to link the northern Outer Banks with the mainland.
The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reported Monday that the $650 million toll bridge would stretch over the Currituck Sound to Corolla, known for its lighthouse and wild horses. Projected tolls on the Mid-Currituck Bridge would be $10 to $15 for a one-way trip. The bridge is expected to generate $7 million in its first year.
The bridge would be aimed at relieving logjams for summer tourists on U.S. Highway 158 and N.C. Highway 12. For those traveling from the north, getting to Corolla requires going south almost to Kitty Hawk, a U-turn that can add up to an hour to the trip.
An environmental impact statement on the bridge is expected by the end of the year. Construction is scheduled to begin in February and be finished in 2013.
In April, the state Turnpike Authority entered an agreement with Spanish firms ACS Infrastructure Development and Dragados USA to determine if the project is financially feasible and possibly become investors for it.