- NC Policy Watch - http://www.ncpolicywatch.com -

Monday numbers

Bonner-Bridge [1]12—number of days the Bonner Bridge on the Outer Banks was closed in December for emergency repairs before reopening Sunday (“Bonner Bridge reopens to traffic,” WRAL-TV, December 15, 2013)

12—number of days since DOT Secretary Tony Tata said a new bridge would already be under construction if not for a lawsuit filed the Southern Environmental Law Center, where according to Tata “….ivory tower elitists file these lawsuits from their air-conditioned offices in Chapel Hill and they do so with their lattes and their contempt, and chuckle while the good people of the Outer Banks are fighting hard to scratch out a living here based on tourism and based on access.”  (“McCrory and Outer Banks leaders blast environmental group over bridge delay, News & Observer, December 4, 2013)

12—number of days since Governor McCrory held a press conference at the Bonner Bridge and encouraged the public to call members of the boards of the environmental organizations who are parties to the current lawsuit over replacing the bridge (Ibid)

0—number of times Governor McCrory or senior administration officials reached out to the Southern Environmental Law Center before attacking them at the news conference December 4 (News and Views interview with SELC Attorney Derb Carter, December 15, 2013)

10—number of years since the NCDOT, the Federal Highway Administration, and all permitting agencies agreed to build a long bridge through Pamlico Sound to the village of Rodanthe to replace the current shorter Bonner Bridge—bypassing the erosion “hotspots” on Highway 12 in the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge (“Bonner Bridge Replacement Background: Replacing the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge: A History of Missteps, Southern Environmental Law Center)

7—number of years since the construction of longer bridge would have begun based on 2003 agreement if local Dare County political leaders and developers had not objected (Ibid)

3—number of years since the new longer bridge to replace the current Bonner Bridge would have been completed by now if local political leaders had not objected (Ibid)

2—number of new inlets that have opened during storms in the last few years that have precluded access to the Bonner Bridge for several months and would have also precluded access to the new short bridge currently proposed to replace it (News and Views interview with SELC Attorney Derb Carter, December 15, 2013)

7—number of weeks that damage to Highway 12 by Hurricane Irene in 2011 cut off access to the Bonner Bridge, a problem that simply replacing the shorter bridge would not address (“Heads in the sand over the Bonner Bridge,” N.C. Policy Watch, December 11, 2013)

2—number of months that damage to Highway 12 by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 cut off access to the Bonner Bridge (Ibid)

260 million—amount in dollars of the estimated cost in 2003 of the construction of the long bridge that would not require other smaller bridges or beach renourishment to keep Highway 12 passable (News and Views interview with SELC Attorney Derb Carter, December 15, 2013)

450 million—amount in dollars of the current total cost to replace the current Bonner Bridge with an identical bridge, build smaller bridges along Highway 12, and renourish the eroding beaches along the highway to keep the road operational (Ibid)

569 million—amount in dollars of NC DOT’s current estimated low cost of the long bridge that would not face risks of closure posed by storm damage and erosion of the beach along Highway 12 (Ibid)