September 27, 2013
UPDATE: NCDOT allowed to intervene
in Bonner Bridge permit challenge
North Carolina Department of Transportation can now participate in an
action filed by the Southern Environmental Law Center in the North
Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings challenging the issuance of
the Coastal Area Management Act permit, a required state permit for
replacing the Bonner Bridge.
The Honorable Julian Mann III
issued the order allowing NCDOT to intervene in the action filed by the
SELC, on behalf of the Defenders of Wildlife and National Wildlife
Refuge Association, against the N.C. Department of Environment and
Natural Resources, Division of Coastal Management for issuing the
permit to NCDOT. NCDOT filed the motion to intervene on Sept. 20.
"I want to thank Judge Mann for his rapid and thoughtful
decision that takes into consideration the safety and welfare of the
people of eastern North Carolina and the tourism industry that relies
on this vital bridge and lifeline along the Outer Banks," said NCDOT
Secretary Tony Tata.
The CAMA permit challenge is the final
legal hurdle preventing the department from moving forward with
replacing the existing bridge, which stands on borrowed time.
Sept. 16, NCDOT received a favorable ruling in the federal lawsuit
filed by the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of the
Defenders of Wildlife and National Wildlife Refuge Association when
Judge Louise Flanagan issued a 42-page order denying all claims that
NCDOT violated federal law when the department studied and selected the
The documents relating to the state action, as well as the federal ruling, are available on the Bonner Bridge Replacement webpage.
the CAMA permit challenge is resolved and the final permits are secured
from federal agencies, NCDOT immediately will move forward with
construction of the new bridge. NCDOT awarded a contract to a
design-build team to replace the bridge in August 2011. Design
work began immediately and construction of the replacement bridge was
originally set to begin in early 2013.
this time, the Bonner Bridge remains safe for travel. NCDOT teams are
constantly monitoring the bridge and if safety ever becomes a concern
the bridge would be closed immediately. NCDOT has already spent more
than $56 million in necessary repairs, inspection and maintenance on
the 50-year-old bridge since beginning the process to replace it more
than two decades ago. Two additional repair projects on the Bonner
Bridge, which total $2 million, which are needed to keep this critical
transportation corridor open, will start this fall.
Read more about the history of the Bonner Bridge and challenges to building a new one.
$388,910 concrete repair project began this week. As part of the
project crews will apply concrete patches to areas of the bridge to
protect exposed steel. These areas were identified for priority
maintenance during the last regular two-year inspection of the bridge
that took place in 2012.
The second repair project,
totaling $1.4 million, includes repairs to the supplemental supports of
the bridge. Work on that project will begin in the next few weeks.