Local News

NC environmental regulators OK Outer Banks bridge

Posted September 20, 2012 12:11 p.m. EDT
Updated September 20, 2012 2:09 p.m. EDT

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

— North Carolina environmental regulators have signed off on a plan to replace the nearly 50-year-old bridge spanning Oregon Inlet and linking Hatteras Island to points north such as Nags Head and Kill Devil Hills.

The Division of Coastal Management announced Thursday its decision to issue the permit to the state Department of Transportation to build the 2.8-mile Bonner Bridge replacement and demolish the existing bridge when the new structure is complete. The permit followed a public comment period and reviews by more than a dozen federal and state agencies.

The new bridge will parallel the existing one.

Other permits are still required before construction can begin early next year on the $200 million-plus project. Environmental groups have sued to try to prevent the replacement plans from going forward. They prefer a longer bridge going out into Pamlico Sound.