RALEIGH, N.C. — The N.C. Department of Transportation solicited bids this week to build a $124 million bridge that would elevate 2.4 miles of N.C. 12 over an erosion-prone stretch of the Outer Banks, according to the News & Observer.
The proposed bridge would be located in the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge between Oregon Inlet and Hatteras Island. The bridge would be a longer, taller replacement for a 600-foot temporary steel bridge that carries the highway over an inlet created by Hurricane Irene in 2011.
The bridge will lift N.C. 12 high over the dune line, reaching as high as 32 feet above sea level.
Highway planners have acknowledged what coastal geologists predict: The barrier island will continue its steady migration westward, so proposed bridge to be built on dry land, will eventually be standing in the surf of the Atlantic Ocean.
Contract bids are to be opened in November. Pending the approval of several state and federal permits, construction could start in early 2014 and finish by the end of 2017, according to DOT.
Read more: News & Observer