On January 15th, 2020, the Carteret County Transportation Committee in NC at it’s meeting discussed the idea of a proposed third Bogue Banks bridge citing the need to expedite this proposal based on projected new population growth and traffic from the new Interstate 42 corridor project, and to aid in hurricane evacuations. Additionally, this committee, which advises Carteret County commissioners and acts as a liaison on transportation issues, asked the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to study design work for the proposed new bridge.
Readers are encouraged to share this article on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter so that other residents and interested parties can use the discussion form below to leave detailed public comments on this proposal, and to have ongoing conversations as this project moves forward.
The section below will be for updated information and news as it happens.
Emerging News On This Project
This section is for news information learned after publication of this article.
September 2020: Indian Beach town officials and commissioners officially opposed the proposed new bridge withing city limits citing their belief that Highway 58 can not support the traffic, and that town residents real estate properties will be affected.
Known Facts Before Discussions
- Don Kirkman, Director of the Carteret County economic development department, said that the NCDOT was asked for an express design to estimate cost and impacts on the environment.
- Diane Hampton, an engineer with NCDOT, offered that the proposal is in the process, but is behind other projects and subject to future budget issues and other possible considerations. She also said that Carteret County should plan for the possibility of double the current traffic volume in the next 25 years.
- A toll bridge was discussed as a possible solution to help pay for the project and to speed up the process the state uses to make decisions on giving the green light for these type projects.
- The area adjacent to Hibbs Road on Highway 24 was discussed as a possible mainland entry point on the Morehead City / Newport side, but the endpoint near Indian Beach and Salter Path has yet to be defined and has the most potential for debate.
- The express design process could take up to a year to complete, and the beginning of construction could be 7 to 10 years out based on several considerations between the end of the express design phase and construction.
- A detailed and thorough environmental review is required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
- Diane Hampton of NCDOT said that a significant challenge to this project is that Bogue Sound is at it’s widest in the proposed area and that this necessitates the need to study the environmental impact. She also threw out the idea of making the proposed new bridge a three lane span with the center lane devoted to pedestrians and bicyclist and it being a protected area from traffic. But, that this protected barrier could be removed quickly for things like evacuations.
As a resident, land owner, business owner, tourism official, environmentalist, elected official, or investor to the local area, what are your initial comments on this new proposed bridge?
What do you see as the greatest impacts to the marine environment in the central point of Bogue Sound? What will the impacts be in Indian Beach and Salter Path versus Highway 24?
How exactly is Bogue Banks going to handle double the amount of traffic along Highway 58 even if the road is widened?
What are your initial thoughts on the idea of this third new bridge being a toll road to help pay for and speed along the process?
What are some design features that you think should be considered for this project?
How could this new idea help or hurt Salter Path and Indian Beach, or the Highway 24 area of Newport?
What are the impacts to land and home values in the immediate areas where the bridge will connect?
Does Carteret County have a choice? The State of North Carolina IS putting a interstate in regardless. I guess the question on this third bridge to Bogue Banks depends on whether local citizens want to face significantly increased traffic at the bridges in Atlantic Beach and Emerald Isle and traffic along Highway 58, or go through the process of figuring this out somewhere in the middle.
For me, of ALL the new changes to what the Interstate 42 project is going to bring, none have scared me more than how to fit double the population on this island with only one road and very little room to develop or widen Highway 58.
It is going to be an interesting next 10 years.
Public interest: County commissioners, transportation committee, NCDOT, Don Kirkman, Diane Hampton.
If any of the public interest listed above want to comment on this article using their official titled position, please contact us so that we can verify you.