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Lawmakers Want Information on Mid-Currituck Bridge Project

Cape Fear Watchdog$

Lawmakers want information on Mid-Currituck Bridge project

Thursday, at 11:10 by


Transportation leaders in the General Assembly want answers from the N.C. Turnpike Authority before it moves forward with the Mid-Currituck Bridge project.

The co-chairs of the Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee have sent a letter to Turnpike Authority Executive Director David Joyner asking that the agency not proceed with the “commercial close” of the project until it answers a series of questions. The lawmakers also asked authority officials to appear before the committee this fall to discuss project details.

Read the letter to the Turnpike Authority.

The Mid-Currituck Bridge is a proposed 7-mile toll road between U.S. 158 on the Currituck County mainland and N.C. 12 on the Outer Banks. Its purpose is to reduce travel time and congestion onto the Outer Banks and provide an alternative hurricane evacuation route.

“The chairs have concerns about the terms of the agreement for the project, the financial feasibility of the project and the financial liability the state may be incurring as the NC Turnpike Authority considers the finance plan for this project,” according to the July 26 letter, which is signed by the four co-chairs of the committee.

Sen. Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, is one of the chairs. He said in an interview Wednesday that moving forward with project agreements could put state taxpayers on the hook for a large sum of money over a many years during tough economic times. Rabon has said he believes the three remaining Turnpike Authority projects, including the proposed Cape Fear Skyway connecting New Hanover and Brunswick counties, should have to compete for prioritization like all the other road projects in the state.

In the letter, lawmakers ask 18 different questions about the Mid-Currituck Bridge project, mainly focused on potential agreements with private partners, the cost of the project to the state and the potential impacts of a lawsuit challenging the project. According to the letter, the transportation officials want answers by Friday.

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