North Carolina environmental regulators have signed off on a plan to replace the nearly 50-year-old bridge spanning Oregon Inlet and linking Hatteras Island to points north such as Nags Head and Kill Devil Hills.
The Division of Coastal Management announced Thursday its decision to issue the permit to the state Department of Transportation to build the 2.8-mile Bonner Bridge replacement and demolish the existing bridge when the new structure is complete. The permit followed a public comment period and reviews by more than a dozen federal and state agencies.
Other permits are still required before construction can begin early next year on the $200 million-plus project. Environmental groups have sued to try to prevent the replacement plans from going forward. They prefer a longer bridge going out into Pamlico Sound.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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