A unanimous federal appeals court panel is overturning North Carolina's plans to save money by simply replacing a crucial Outer Banks bridge while chunks of the island where traffic passes is threatened by rising waves.
A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday ruled unanimously that a lower court judge was wrong to favor North Carolina's position that construction to replace the Bonner Bridge should start. The federal judge last September allowed an exception to laws protecting a wildlife refuge and now will have to dig more deeply into the case.
The dispute centers on a state plan to replicate the existing 2.5-mile bridge across Oregon Inlet at a cost of $216 million. The bridge is the only span connecting the mainland to Hatteras Island.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)