08/04/05 — Traffic crisis: Currituck bridge need is obvious

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Traffic crisis: Currituck bridge need is obvious

The federal government has made a $2 million grant to East Carolina University to study the possibility of a bridge from mainland Currituck County across the sound to the northern Outer Banks.

The bridge would have to be around 10 miles long.

Its need is without question. That is obvious to anyone traveling to that area via the present bridge crossing from Point Harbor to Southern Shores and then taking the winding two-lane Highway 12 to Corolla.

The area has become increasingly populated and traffic will be greatly exacerbated with continuing development of the Wildlife Education Center and the Whale Head Club in the Currituck Lighthouse area.

There also is a public beach on the ocean side at Corolla.

Already traffic is a problem during the summer tourist season.

State traffic studies have shown that as many as 60,000 vehicles travel the two-lane highway through Dare and Currituck counties to the northern Outer Banks on a single Saturday during summer months.

Already there have been problems of getting Currituck youngsters on the Outer Banks to schools on the mainland. A ferry — not yet operating — can provide, at best, a very limited and fair weather approach across the shallow sound.

Bridges take time to plan and build. The need for this one is without question. Perhaps the study project to be undertaken at ECU will provide impetus to accelerating planning, funding and construction.

Published in Editorials on August 4, 2005 11:25 AM