Environmental Groups Sue Over Bonner Bridge Replacement

OREGON INLET, N.C. (AP) -- Three environmental groups are suing over the plan to replace the bridge that connects Hatteras Island to the rest of North Carolina's Outer Banks.

The Southern Environmental Law Center, the Defenders of the Wildlife and the National Wildlife Refuge Association filed the lawsuit Friday in federal court. They're suing the state Department of Transportation and others over the plan to build a bridge that's parallel to the Bonner Bridge, a deteriorating structure built in 1963 and designed to last 30 years.

The proposed replacement goes through the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and is estimated to cost $300 million. Environmentalists support a 17-mile alternative that would bypass the refuge. Its estimated cost is $1 billion.

A DOT spokeswoman says the agency is reviewing the lawsuit.


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  • by AmeriCAN Location: OBX on Jul 5, 2011 at 06:09 AM
    These environs have tricked good people out of their money in the name of Mother Earth for way too long. A tragedy will happen on this bridge if not fixed soon. Ocracoke Had the money for fireworks this year but environs stopped the use of the dredge island for a launching site (Their Last Alternative). Thanks for taking away July 4th fireworks DOW, Audubon, bird Lovers. This environ crowd would swerve and hit their own child to save a bird in the road.
  • by Blahammed on Jul 2, 2011 at 06:36 PM
    Enviromentalist budget has increased 125% the last two years.I think we all know who to blame for this!
  • by US-First Location: Greenville on Jul 2, 2011 at 11:03 AM
    The environmentalist strategy is to bog the project down in court costing more money to the project. They think especially in today's economy that someone in the legislature we say, darn it looks like our cost savings for the tax payers is being diverted to lawyers, and back out. Anyone know how long the current Bonner bridge has stood? Built in 1963. It started being repaired (maintained) in 1987 but the most significant cost of repair followed a dredge that collided with it in 1990 causing extensive structural damage. The current project is expected to cost under 300million compared to the 1.3billion for the other. I think even if the new one only lasts 40 years as the old one has, it will be worth it!
  • by Hombre' on Jul 2, 2011 at 04:56 AM
    Put a big toll fair on it so who's going out their will pay for the bridge.
  • by Steve Location: Ayden on Jul 1, 2011 at 08:42 PM
    If anyone has ever gone under the bridge in a boat you will see very quickly why it needs to be replaced and moved to a better location. It will make you NEVER want to drive across it. It is sad that people still pay attention to these environmental fools. They will not be content until people live in tents and eat bark.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 2, 2011 at 08:00 AM in reply to Steve
      Cant eat the bark that will kill the tree.Anyway,I say stop their funding and make them starve to death.
  • by GOOD GREIF Location: KITTY HAWK, NC on Jul 1, 2011 at 07:03 PM
    These guys will not be happy until the only way to Hatteras island is by boat or plane. How about the amount of money spent each year for repair, not to mention the time and money spent removing sand from the "canal zone." The local say, when you cross the inlet, let the windows down and unhook the belts.
  • by do they now?! on Jul 1, 2011 at 06:11 PM
    So, those groups prefer the billion dollar project do they? Let THEM fork up the extra 700 million! Typical liberalism, stick it to the taxpayers no matter the cost. After all, it is THEY who know best! Right?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 1, 2011 at 08:27 PM in reply to do they now?!
      No, TYPICAL right-wing short term thinking on your part. A bridge built beside the current bridge will suffer the same fate, the currents in the inlet will increase repair and maintenance costs, and shorten the life of the bridge. Now go vote your Medicare away, you won't miss it 'til you need it.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 1, 2011 at 05:16 PM
    Why dont they just do work on the bridge thats already there. They are working on the rest of the bridges around the outer banks.
    • reply
      by Nocando on Jul 1, 2011 at 05:50 PM in reply to
      They've been working on it for the last several years! It isn't feasible. The strong current and changing tides have eroded the supports and the bridge has been repaired many, many time. Keep doing what you're doing gets the same result!
    • reply
      by Tyee on Jul 1, 2011 at 06:19 PM in reply to
      Your recommendation is just too logical for our big spenders to understand.
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