Mid-Currituck Bridge Project Makes the Cut in Draft NCDOT Spending Plan
by CCED, on 12/9/14 10:16 AM
County Officials Thankful, Optimistic that Project will be Built
The North Carolina Department of Transportation released its 2016-2025 draft State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) this morning, with Governor Pat McCrory and Transportation Secretary Tony Tata presenting plan before the State Board of Transportation in Raleigh.
While the draft STIP will fund over 1,000 multi-modal transportation projects projected to create 300,000 jobs in the State, Currituck County officials were especially encouraged that the long-awaited Mid-Currituck Bridge project is included in the STIP, with project activity ramping up in 2019.
“The Currituck County Board of Commissioners is encouraged by the Mid-Currituck Bridge’s inclusion in the draft STIP and optimistic that we can finally get this critical project built,” said S. Paul O’Neal, Board Chairman.
“We are thankful for the hard work and commitment to our community by Governor McCrory, Secretary Tata, Senator Bill Cook, Representative Bob Steinburg and our Division 1 Board representative Malcolm Fearing.”
Currituck County Manager Dan Scanlon shared Chairman O’Neal’s optimism, but noted the project is still years away. “We’re certainly encouraged that the project scored well enough to be funded, but also cautious because there is a long way to go until construction begins in earnest,” he said. Scanlon also noted that local and regional support for the project by neighboring communities helped pushed the project score high enough to win prioritization.
“This project is a game-changer,” said Peter Bishop, Currituck County’s Economic Development Director. “For decades, our residents and businesses – not just visitors – have become prisoners in their homes and in vehicles due to traffic gridlock along our US 158 corridor and NC 12. Building the Mid-Currituck Bridge will help re-energize our business community, providing both relief and economic opportunity throughout the Outer Banks and Albemarle regions.”
First planned in the 1970’s, the Mid-Currituck Bridge is a 7.3 mile single-span toll bridge traversing the Currituck Sound. The project will connect the Currituck Outer Banks community of Corolla to the mainland peninsula, shaving over 60 miles of travel for visitors, employees, residents and business traffic.
The project portends to alleviate heavy visitor traffic congestion throughout the summer tourism months, provide a critical hurricane evacuation route for the Northern Outer Banks and better connect the region’s assets to the Albemarle and Hampton Roads, VA.