A lawsuit that has halted the construction of a new bridge to an Outer Banks island in North Carolina reached a federal appeals court earlier this month.
Bonner Bridge, which is the only highway connection between Hatteras Island and mainland North Carolina, was constructed in 1963. The state has spent nearly $56 million on repairs and maintenance for the bridge since 1990, according to the N.C. Department of Transportation’s website.
THE STORY OF BONNER BRIDGE
Replacing the 51-year-old Bonner Bridge connecting Hatteras Island to the mainland has been stalled since 2011:
- The bridge has cost $56 million in repairs since 1990.
- A $215.8 million contract for a parallel bridge replacement was awarded in July 2011.
- The Southern Environmental Law Center filed a lawsuit that month due to environmen- tal concerns.
- The lawsuit reached a federal appeals court in May 2014.
“The DOT spends more time on the Bonner Bridge than any other in the state,” said Lee Nettles, managing director of the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau.
The 51-year-old bridge has degraded over time due to shifting sands and shallow bridge pilings, said N.C. DOT spokeswoman Jennifer Garifo in an email.