RALEIGH - The N.C. Department of
Transportation received the state Coastal Area Management Act major permit
Thursday afternoon, following a 30-day public comment period, and reviews by
four federal and 10 state agencies. This
permit will help in the process of constructing a replacement for the Bonner
Bridge in Dare County.
Over the next four months, NCDOT anticipates receiving federal
permits and easements from:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service;
U.S. Coast Guard;
National Park Service; and
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Upon receiving the aforementioned permits and easements, NCDOT
hopes to move forward with the Bonner Bridge Replacement Project in early 2013,
pending the outcome of an ongoing lawsuit. This is a multi-phase project that
includes replacing the existing bridge over Oregon Inlet and providing for the
long-term retention of N.C. 12 between Oregon Inlet and Rodanthe.
Phase I of the project will build the new bridge just west of
where the Bonner Bridge currently stands. Phase II includes implementing
long-term solutions for the major breaches on Pea Island and Rodanthe caused by
Hurricane Irene in August 2011.
The exact plan for implementing future phases will be determined,
based on the department's active coastal monitoring program. This helps NCDOT
decide where and when to make improvements to N.C. 12 from the south end of the
Bonner Bridge to Rodanthe. Any of the alternatives (beach nourishment, road
relocation and bridging) previously studied as part of the project's original
environmental analysis could be considered for future phases.