N.C. Senate Leader Wants Help From Obama on Bridge

Tue March 30, 2010 - Southeast Edition

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) North Carolina Senate leader Marc Basnight has asked President Barack Obama to remove what he calls legal bottlenecks for building a new bridge for the state’s Outer Banks.

Basnight wrote to Obama that construction of the replacement for the aging Herbert C. Bonner Bridge is at a “bureaucratic standstill” because of a maze of complex and repetitive questions from the federal government.

The 47-year-old bridge crosses Oregon Inlet and is a key highway corridor for hurricane evacuations and Outer Banks tourism. A replacement bridge will cost more than $1 billion.

The Dare County Democrat asked Obama to urge the interior and transportation departments to accept a design approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers.