Locals ask N.C. officials to look at alternatives to $600M Mid-Currituck Bridge

The Currituck Sound sits at the northern edge of North Carolina’s Outer Banks and is an important and historic wintering area for waterfowl.

As North Carolina looks to address summer beach traffic headed to and from the Outer Banks, residents and property owners along the route are asking the state to consider alternatives that would have less impact on taxpayers and on the area’s special landscape.

In a letter sent this week to newly-appointed North Carolina Secretary of Transportation, Jim Trogdon, locals represented by the No Mid-Currituck Bridge group asked him to look at more affordable and less damaging solutions than the proposed $600 million Mid-Currituck Bridge.

Solving summer beach traffic woes

Upgrades to existing roads can achieve more while costing less when compared to constructing a proposed bridge in the Northern Outer Banks to manage summer traffic volume.

“We believe the alternative would alleviate traffic congestion on NC 12 without the high fiscal and environmental cost of the bridge,” states the letter, signed by two NoMCB steering members. “Our group represents part of the strong opposition to the Mid-Currituck Bridge on both the Currituck mainland and the Outer Banks. We hope that your department takes the time to take a thoughtful look at whether this costly and controversial project is truly the best solution.”

The alternative sent to the North Carolina Department of Transportation offers a suite of possible solutions that include minimal road widening along key congested stretches of NC 12, a redesigned interchange between NC 12 and 158, and the conversion of signalized intersections to roundabouts.

The proposal also includes programs designed to reduce transportation demand, such as incentives for staggered check-out days at vacation rental homes, and an “electronic key” program that would eliminate unnecessary trips to centralized vacation rental offices.

A focus of the design was easing the area’s peak congestion days, which are usually summer weekends. These options achieve that at drastically less cost to taxpayers and the environment than the proposed bridge and could be implemented much sooner.

This alternative also avoids disruption of the sensitive Currituck Sound, one of the largest over-wintering spots for birds on the east coast.

To see the full alternative proposal, click here.

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