Apparently 20 years of study actually doesn't produce good ideas:
The bridge would lead to growth in undisturbed areas along the northern Outer Banks, increase pollution in the sound and surrounding habitat and damage the ecosystem that helps handle storm surge, flooding and sea level rise, according to the suit filed by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation and the No Mid-Currituck Bridge Concerned Citizens, among others. The Federal Highway Administration officially approved the project last month following more than 20 years of environmental impact studies, public hearings and delays.
The 6.2-mile, two lane toll bridge would cross the Currituck Sound connecting Corolla and Aydlett and cross a swamp before intersecting with U.S. 158 south of Coinjock. It would cost an estimated $440 million.
I've never driven that route, so I don't know how bad the traffic situation is. It appears to be pretty bad, with vehicles idling for hours as they creep along. But in my opinion, ramping up growth *anywhere* on the Outer Banks is an insanely bad idea, and one healthy storm surge could turn this into a $440 million bridge to nowhere. SELC is (as usual) right on top of this situation, with much better (and cheaper) alternatives to the bridge:
The groups filed their lawsuit under the National Environmental Policy Act in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Among their claims, they argue that the transportation agencies have failed to consider less damaging and less expensive alternatives including a multi-faceted transportation solution for the Northern Outer Banks previously suggested by the groups. This significantly less expensive proposal includes minimal road widening along key congested stretches of NC 12, a redesigned interchange between NC 12 and 158, and the conversion of signalized intersections to roundabouts, as well as programs designed to reduce transportation demand, such as incentives for staggered check-out days at vacation rental homes.
The alternative solution was designed to ease peak congestion days, which occur primarily on summer weekends, at drastically less cost to taxpayers and the environment than the proposed bridge. This approach also could be implemented much sooner than the proposed bridge.
Makes too much sense, and saves too much money. There's a half-billion dollars on the table, and those players aren't just going to walk away from that.