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Mid-Currituck Bridge Gets Go-Ahead

State Department of Transportation and the Turnpike Authority can move forward on mid-Currituck bridge. Photo: File

RALEIGH  The mid-Currituck bridge is one step closer to construction. Federal Highway Administration received the Record of Decision dated March 6 for the mid-Currituck bridge, indicating federal approval.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation and Turnpike Authority announced Friday that can move forward on the connection between Aydlett on the mainland and Corolla on the Outer Banks and begin acquiring needed land for rights-of-way, obtain environmental permits and advance construction plans.

The Mid-Currituck Bridge is expected to provide an additional evacuation route for the Outer Banks, according to the release. Hurricane evacuation clearance times fail to meet the state designated standards of 18 hours. The 40-mile shortcut is expected to shave off two hours one-way during peak travel periods.

“This is a major milestone in delivering this project, that the local communities requested,” said Chris Werner, Acting Executive Director of the North Carolina Turnpike Authority, in a statement. “The Mid-Currituck Bridge will provide much-needed transportation improvements for hurricane evacuation clearance times and connectivity to the Outer Banks.”

As part of the mainland approach, a 1.5-mile long bridge will be constructed across Maple Swamp and a new 4.7-mile, two-lane toll bridge across the Currituck Sound. Improvements to N.C. 12 and minor enhancements to the Wright Memorial Bridge, which will aid in hurricane evacuation, are also planned.

The need was first identified in 1975 for an east-west crossing of Currituck Sound. Planning began in 1995 by NCDOT, with the Turnpike Authority becoming involved in 2006, when officials considered funding the project with toll revenue.

“This is an important project for everyone who lives on or visits the Outer Banks,” said Dan Scanlon, Currituck County Manager, in a statement. “It is encouraging to see the state reach this milestone after years of hard work from so many people.”

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The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.