Project Overview and Purpose
The only highway crossing of the Currituck Sound along the North Carolina coast is the Wright Memorial Bridge on U.S. 158 at the southern end of Currituck County into Dare County.
The single crossing can mean increased congestion – especially during the summer – on U.S. 158 as well as N.C. 12, resulting in increased travel times between the mainland and the Outer Banks. Hurricane evacuation clearance times for those using U.S. 158 and N.C. 168 also far exceed the state-designated standard of 18 hours.
The Mid-Currituck Bridge project would create a second crossing of the sound – north of the Wright Memorial Bridge – to help alleviate congestion and improve the flow of evacuation traffic in the event of a hurricane or severe storm.
It would also provide easier access between the Outer Banks and Virginia, as well as other communities in northeastern North Carolina.
The 7-mile toll project includes a two-lane bridge that spans the Currituck Sound and connects the Currituck County mainland to the Outer Banks. It also includes a second two-lane bridge that spans Maple Swamp on the Currituck County mainland, connecting Aydlett to U.S. 158.
The project has an overall estimated cost of $440 million. A portion of the funding is expected to come from bonds that will be paid back with toll revenue. The remainder of the funding is expected to come from a combination of state and federal transportation tax revenues. After taking into account funding from toll revenue, the project has an estimated cost of $173 million to NCDOT.
There is not an estimated toll rate at this time.
Latest News and Updates
Project planning and implementation of the Mid-Currituck Bridge was placed on hold in 2013 while NCDOT reviewed state, regional and local transportation improvement funding priorities using the Strategic Mobility Formula.
The project has since been approved for inclusion in the 2016-2025 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), and now, work toward a Record of Decision (ROD) is underway. An amendment to the STIP calls for NCDOT to start the dedication of state transportation funding in fiscal year 2017 (which starts July 2016) that will be used for bridge construction. The STIP originally called for the dedication of funding to begin in fiscal year 2019.
As part of working toward a Record of Decision, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is being re-evaluated to determine if a supplemental EIS is required. Because it has been more than three years since the approval of the Final EIS in 2012, this re-evaluation will consider changes regarding the project, its surroundings, impacts and any new issues, circumstances or information that was not considered in the original document. The re-evaluation will also look at any changes in laws or regulations that apply to the project.
If the re-evaluation process concludes that the information presented in the Final EIS is an accurate analysis of anticipated project impacts, the Record of Decision will be published signifying the completion of the environmental study process.
Additional activities to take place before any construction begins include: developing a new traffic and revenue study and toll financing plan, selecting a builder, preparing final design plans, acquiring right of way, and obtaining environmental agency permits.
Description of Preferred Alternative
The Preferred Alternative is MCB4/C1 with Option A and reducing hurricane evacuation clearance times primarily by reversing the center lane on U.S. 158 north of the bridge. The Preferred Alternative also includes several design refinements to help avoid and minimize impacts, in response to government agency and public input and comments. These refinements include:
- Provision of a median acceleration lane at Waterlily Road. This safety feature would allow left turns to continue to be made at Waterlily Road and U.S. 158. Bulb-outs for U-turning vehicles also would be provided at the re-aligned U.S. 158/Aydlett Road intersection and the U.S. 158/Worth Guard Road intersection to provide greater flexibility for local traffic in turning to and from existing side streets near the U.S. 158/Mid-Currituck Bridge interchange.
- Reducing the amount of four-lane widening along N.C. 12 from that with MCB4/C1 from approximately 4 miles to approximately 2.1 miles, plus left turn lanes at two additional locations over approximately 0.5 miles. The 2.1 miles of N.C. 12 widening would be concentrated at three locations: the bridge terminus, the commercial area surrounding Albacore Street and Currituck Clubhouse Drive.
- Constructing roundabouts on N.C. 12 instead of signalized intersections at the bridge terminus and Currituck Clubhouse Drive.
- Terminating the bridge in a roundabout at N.C. 12 also allowed the C1 bridge alignment to be adjusted to remove curves and thereby reduced its length across Currituck Sound by approximately 250 feet (from approximately 24,950 feet [4.7 miles] to 24,700 feet).
- Provision of marked pedestrian crossings along N.C. 12, where it would be widened. Marked pedestrian crossings would be placed at locations identified by Currituck County plans (Albacore Street, Orion's Way and Currituck Clubhouse Drive are under consideration for inclusion in the next Currituck County thoroughfare plan), as well as at North Harbor View Drive and the bridge terminus (one across N.C. 12 and one across the bridge approach road).
Hurricane evacuation clearance time reduction features include:
- On the mainland, reversing the center turn lane on U.S. 158 between the U.S. 158/Mid-Currituck Bridge interchange and N.C. 168.
- On the Outer Banks, adding approximately 1,600 feet of new third outbound lane to the west of the N.C. 12/ U.S. 158 intersection to provide additional road capacity during a hurricane evacuation. The additional lane would start at the U.S. 158/Cypress Knee Trail/Market Place Shopping Center intersection and end approximately 450 feet west of the Duck Woods Drive intersection, a total distance of approximately 1,600 feet. From this point, the new lane would merge back into the existing U.S. 158 westbound lanes over a distance of approximately 300 feet.
Approximately 7 miles
Free Alternate Route
Existing U.S. 158 across the Wright Memorial Bridge, then N.C. 12.
Project Hotline: (800) 961-5465
Send a message
1578 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1578
Resources for Local Property Owners
In many cases, it is inevitable that a certain amount of private property must be acquired. The displacement of homes and businesses is minimized to the extent practicable. The following brochures will answer questions about this process.