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NoMCB Letter to Transportation Secretary Trogdon

Secretary Jim Trogdon, P.E.
North Carolina Department of Transportation
Office of the Secretary
1501 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1501
jhtrogdon@ncdot.gov

Dear Secretary Trogdon:

Congratulations on your recent appointment as Transportation Secretary for North
Carolina. We are a group of concerned citizens writing to ask you to take a fresh look at the
proposed Mid-Currituck Bridge. Our group, No Mid-Currituck Bridge (“NoMCB”), is
comprised of residents and visitors from both the Currituck mainland and the Currituck
Outer Banks. We began meeting as a group in 2010 and, since that time, have held
community meetings to share information about the proposed bridge, voice our opposition,
and construct alternative solutions.

We write today to ask that you seriously consider a newly developed alternative submitted
by our group to your Department in December. This alternative, a summary of which is
attached, stems from our in-depth experience as to the true transportation concerns in
Currituck County and the Northern Outer Banks. The solutions we proposed were further
developed by transportation expert Walter Kulash, who has over 45 years’ experience in
transportation engineering. We believe the alternative would alleviate traffic congestion
on NC 12 without the high fiscal and environmental cost of the bridge.

Recent findings by NCDOT demonstrate that now is the time to consider a new alternative
to the bridge. Funding for the bridge, with cost estimates ranging up to $678 million,
appears to be in serious doubt. Only $173 million has been set aside from the project from
the STI—leaving the balance to be paid for by tolls. But with DOT’s projections of future
traffic now severely diminished we do not believe that drivers will be willing to pay a toll
high enough (based on some estimates, as high as $50 for a one-way trip) to make the
bridge financially viable. North Carolina’s scarce transportation resources should be more
wisely spent.

As you know, the proposed bridge would cross the fragile and ecologically significant
Currituck Sound, which continues to deteriorate because of development in southeastern
Virginia. The Sound has historically been one of the most significant spots for wintering
waterfowl on the east coast, and it is cherished for the recreational opportunities it
provides. The bridge’s construction and use would harm the Sound in an unacceptable
manner.

In addition to our serious concerns about the environmental impacts of the bridge, we are
also concerned about the effect the bridge would have on the natural resources and
character of the Currituck mainland and the Outer Banks. The bridge would induce
development in a way that has not been properly studied and accounted for. In addition to
development, the bridge would also attract more visitors, including day-trippers from
southeastern Virginia. This increased development and visitation would place an
unsustainable strain on the land and natural resources of our small barrier island.

Our group represents part of the strong opposition to the Mid-Currituck Bridge on both the
Currituck mainland and the Outer Banks. We hope that your department takes the time to
take a thoughtful look at whether this costly and controversial project is truly the best
solution. We urge you to consider our new alternative. We would be happy to meet with
you to further discuss our concerns at your convenience.

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