toyletbowl wrote: ↑
Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:57 pm
FL and OBX.....I've been renting houses for 2 weeks spring and 2 weeks in the fall for many many years. The arguments (at least on my end) have little or nothing to do with access to the island. Everyone knows there needs to be a permanent solution so when any storm comes through everyone can still get on and off safely.
That's always been a given. I've always tried to respect locals and understand the hurdles with each passing storm. My only question has been why don't they build an elevated road/bridge along the current road from Liberty to the last house, then go out into the sound. Seems logical.
S Turns is a vulnerable weak spot, but so is the part of HWY 12 right after the Bonner Bridge. They are constantly regrading the entire area after each storm.
Isn't the long term plan to have no Road in Pea Island and it will be one huge only bridge in the sound from Bonner to Liberty gas station?
Hey, Bob. Your kiteboarding excursions to the OBX are always welcome and, hopefully, will always be enjoyable for you and your group.
The jug-handle bridge is inextricably related to the replacement of the obsolete Bonner Bridge, which is driving the entire Hatteras Island project. So it's all related to ensuring safe and reliable access to the island.
The jug-handle bridge is a compromise solution with the environmental group that had blocked replacement of the Bonner Bridge for many years. That group would have preferred a causeway in the sound that completely circumvents Pea Island, but both sides had to make compromises to settle litigation and get the Bonner Bridge replacement project moving. The compromise will eliminate sections of existing Hwy 12 at the two vulnerable spots that you mention: (1) just south of the existing Bonner Bridge and (2) S-Turns (including Mirlo Beach), which, as you note, are always susceptible to flooding and erosion.
Here's an interesting description of the history and current state of the Bonner Bridge:
"The Herbert C. Bonner Bridge is a two-lane automobile bridge spanning the Oregon Inlet, between Bodie Island from Pea Island, in Dare County, North Carolina. The bridge carries NC 12 and is utilized by local and seasonal tourist traffic. The 2.7-mile (4.3 km) bridge was built in 1963 and is dedicated to Herbert C. Bonner.
Prior to the building of the bridge, Hatteras Island was only accessible by air or ferry. Ferries could carry a maximum of 2,000 people per day. The ferries cost the state $500,000 per year to operate, and there were very long lines waiting for the ferries during peak season. The Bonner Bridge cost $4 million to build and moves up to 14,000 cars a day in both directions. Of that amount, the state of North Carolina paid $1.5 million, and the federal government paid $2.5 million. The arrangement for a portion of the state's cost to be paid by the National Park Service was arranged by Rep. Herbert C. Bonner, for whom the bridge is named. The bridge also made it possible to provide electric power to the islands using transmission lines rather than generators.
The environmental impact on the bridge and road was not fully understood at the time of construction, and now constant beach erosion, severe weather and high volume of traffic continually forces the state to protect the integrity of the road system. As much as $50 million was spent between 1987 and 1999 to repair and protect the Bonner Bridge and NC 12 from the ocean. The bridge was due for replacement by the early 1990s but construction on the new bridge has been continually held back by environmental lawsuits brought by the Southern Environmental Law Center.
The Bonner Bridge was expected to have a thirty-year lifespan. The bridge handles about 2 million cars per year, and the state DOT ranks it a 4 on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the safest." [Wikipedia]