CURRITUCK, N.C. — Despite a recent lawsuit aimed at blocking the Mid-Currituck Bridge, the Currituck County Board of Commissioners remains steadfast in its support for the proposed project.
Once the bridge is built, the Board of Commission said it will improve connectivity, increase public safety, and provide numerous benefits for the tourism and economic development industries.
Upon completion, the Mid-Currituck Bridge will:
- Shorten the hurricane evacuation timeframe for residents and visitors in Corolla. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s N.C. Evacuation Study data, it may take up to 44 hours for the final evacuees to clear the region during a heavy evacuation by traveling current routes.
- Provide a direct route for first responders to transport medical emergencies.
- Shorten the daily commute for residents to reach jobs.
- Create new economic development and employment opportunities.
- Shorten travel times for tourists visiting Corolla. This, in turn, will enhance the tourism industry by making Corolla a more attractive destination.
- Improve traffic flow on the county’s main thoroughfare, Hwy. 158/168, to help year-round county residents with local travel.
- Help manage future transportation needs due to population growth.
- Improve connectivity between the mainland and Outer Banks, creating a heightened sense of community.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation will begin bridge construction in 2021.
“This bridge has been in the works for more than three decades and is vital to the continued health of our economy and changing demands of our guests and residents,” said Bob White, Chairman of the Currituck County Board of Commissioners.
The lawsuit, which was filed on April 23, claims the bridge would be damaging to the local environment and wildlife. Southern Environmental Law Center filed the lawsuit.
The Board of Commission said Currituck County has long been a champion for wildlife and the environment. Known as “a Sportsman’s Paradise”, Currituck is the county in which Ducks Unlimited was first created. The county’s sustained effort for responsible environmental stewardship has been formally recognized by numerous federal, state, and regional agencies. Currituck has received awards from the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust, North Carolina Coastal Federation, and the Albemarle Resource Conservation and Development Council.
The Board of Commissioners also favors construction of the two-lane bridge over other proposed alternatives, such as widening Hwy. 158 and NC 12.
The county feels that this approach would require the state to accomplish a lengthy and very expensive program to obtain the necessary properties required to allow for the widening of both roads.
For more information about the Mid-Currituck Bridge construction, click here.