The National Park Service has approved the state’s plan for replacing the 52-year old Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet.
The Department of the Interior announced on Monday its decision to adopt the final Environmental Impact Statement issued in 2008 and the 2010 Environmental Assessment of the N.C. Department of Transportation’s plan for the replacement and demolition of the current span, the Outer Banks Voice reported.
Park Service Regional Director Stan Austin approved and signed the documents necessary for construction to begin on a parallel bridge within the existing N.C. 12 corridor. The action provides the basis for the Park Service to grant a Federal Highway Easement Deed to the state for the new bridge and to issue a special-use permit regulating the construction activities associated with the project in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
The Record of Decision is available on the NPS Planning Environment and Public Comment website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/caha.
In August, the remaining terms were completed of a settlement the state reached in June with environmental groups represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center in lawsuits that had prevented the N.C. Department of Transportation from replacing the bridge.
In addition to the replacement Bonner Bridge, the NCDOT will build a new interim bridge over the breach caused by Hurricane Irene in 2011 on Pea Island, and another span around the long-troubled Mirlo Beach area.