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Bridge Not Done Deal

Subject: The Bridge: a Done Deal?

Neighbors,

I have been following with interests the discussions here involving the proposed Mid Currituck Bridge (MCB). Some sentiment has been expresssed that the MCB is a done deal and we should just move on.

Love it or hate it the MCB is a long way from a done deal at the all important Federal Level. In addition to the Federal Highway Administration’s Envirnomental Impact (EIS) process (the Draft EIS is already 18 months behind schedule) under the National Environmental Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), there are several other necessary permits which must be issued.

I have just finished a review of the Pre Development Agreement between the Turnpike Authority and the would be Developer. On Page 7 of the PDA it lists the following major permits which must be obtained:

The US Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 and Section 10 Permits

The US Coast Guard Bridge Permit

The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources Section 401 (Clean Water Act) Water Qualty Certification

The North Carolina Division of Coastal Management Coastal AgencyManagement Act Permit and Consistency Determination

The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division of Water Quality Stormwater Permit

The North Carlolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources Land Resources and Sediment Control Permit.

As far as I know the applications haven’t even been filed for these permits. There is plenty of time to become involved in these public processes. While political influence is always something to be concerned with, in my experience Federal Environmental permits are fairly insulated from local political pressures. So whether you support the MCB, oppose it, or want to wait under the DEIS is published, there is plenty of time to participate meaningfully in the process.

One final note, the PDA (available on the Turnpike Authority’s Website) is a fascinating document. Other than some fixed price pre EIS and permitting tasks, it is merely an Agreement to later Agree. It does detail the many, many steps involved in going forward with the MCB.

John Grattan

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