CHAPEL HILL, N.C.– Local residents and property owners from the Currituck mainland and the northern Outer Banks sent a letter today to Secretary of Transportation, Jim Trogdon, asking him to look at a more affordable and less damaging solution to traffic congestion in the Northern Outer Banks than the proposed $678 million Mid-Currituck Bridge .
No Mid-Currituck Bridge, a group comprised of local residents and visitors, asked Secretary Trogdon to study a suite of alternative solutions submitted by the group that includes minimal road widening along key congested stretches of NC 12, a redesigned interchange between NC 12 and 158, and the conversion of signalized intersections to roundabouts.
The $678 million proposed bridge would cross the sensitive Currituck Sound between mainland Currituck County and Corolla on the Outer Banks.
Residents of those areas and visitors who wrestle with beach traffic, provided consultation and suggestions for the alternative solution developed under the guidance of an experienced transportation expert.
The proposal also includes programs designed to reduce transportation demand, such as incentives for staggered check-out days at vacation rental homes, and an “electronic key” program that would eliminate unnecessary trips to centralized vacation rental offices.
The alternative solution was designed to ease peak congestion days, which occur primarily on summer weekends, at drastically less cost to taxpayers and the environment than the proposed bridge. This approach also could be implemented much sooner than the proposed bridge.
By contrast, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has been unable to present a viable financial plan to pay for its proposed $678 million bridge. Last fall, NCDOT’s own analysis showed a drop in long-term traffic expectations. Less traffic would mean less toll revenue, which the state is relying on as a primary means of financing the pricey project.
No Mid-Currituck Bridge is comprised of residents of and visitors to the Currituck mainland and Outer Banks who oppose the Mid-Currituck Bridge. NoMCB strives to protect the unique natural environment of the Currituck mainland and the Outer Banks that hundreds of thousands of visitors come to experience and enjoy every year.
The Southern Environmental Law Center is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. With nine offices across the region (Charlottesville, VA; Chapel Hill, NC; Atlanta, GA; Charleston, SC; Washington, DC; Birmingham, AL; Nashville, TN; Asheville, NC; and Richmond, VA), SELC is widely recognized as the Southeast’s foremost environmental organization and regional leader. SELC works on a full range of environmental issues to protect the South’s natural resources and the health and well-being of all the people in our region. www.SouthernEnvironment.org