The Daily Tar Heel
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Friday, Sept. 29, 2023 Newsletters Latest print issue

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The Daily Tar Heel


The voters and taxpayers of North Carolina are about to be taken on yet another ride for an extremely expensive, clearly unnecessary and destructive project to be paid for with their money.

It is the Mid-Currituck Bridge that is making its way through the legislative process, sucking scarce funds as it goes, and that will cross the already threatened Currituck Sound to generate even more development of the unique natural environment of the Outer Banks.

This bridge will, at best, serve a very small group of people during prime summer vacation time by saving them travel time to the northern end of the Outer Banks.

By adding traffic congestion, pollution and infrastructure strains, it will also hasten the destruction of the very reason people take that time to get to the Outer Banks.

Promoted as a “privately funded” project through a Spanish firm, North Carolinians will be on the hook for 80 percent to 90 percent of the projected $800 million construction cost.

And that is only the beginning since the legislature has already committed to providing $28 million per year in toll subsidies — for up to 50 years.

Add to this additional maintenance, safety and related costs and you have a project that makes the famous “Bridge to Nowhere” seem like a bargain.

This is all occurring at a time when the latest budget continues to slash away at education, public safety and more badly needed transportation priorities.

Just look at the grades the state receives on the ASCE Report Card regarding the condition of its infrastructure.

Why choose to use increasingly scarce state funds for such a project?

All you need to do is check the personal financial interests of state and county officials who are pushing this project.

You might find they expect benefits in terms of their land holdings, or their construction companies, or their other retail activities.

It is not a “Bridge to Nowhere.” It is a bridge to serious fiscal and environmental damage for the state of North Carolina for the potential benefit of a very few.

North Carolinia has much greater needs than this.

Jeffrey Hallett
Corolla resident

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