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Rodanthe's Getting A New Bridge - But What Will It Look Like?

The new Rodanthe Bridge could go along the current easement for N.C. 12

The N.C. Department of Transportation has been planning to put a bridge at Rodanthe for some time. N.C. 12 is particularly susceptible to storm water breaches there, and so a bridge looks like the only way to keep the road viable, long-term.

There are two options for the bridge. Option 1: Go straight through Rodanthe, alongside the current route of N.C. 12. A one lane service road would remain in place to serve the private property alongside the highway.

Option 2: Send the new bridge around Rodanthe, into the Pamlico Sound.

A second design sends the bridge out into the Pamlico Sound.
Credit N.C.D.O.T.
A second design sends the bridge out into the Pamlico Sound.

Surprisingly, both designs cost about the same. Option 1 (straight through Rodanthe) is projected to cost between $187 million and $215 million. Option 2 (going around) should cost between $203 million and $236 million.

Over the next few days, NCDOT will be taking public comment on the two options through January 24th, with four public meetings scheduled throughout the Outer Banks this week. The final design should be chosen early this year, with a contract to be award by this summer.

Public Meetings

Residents throughout the Outer Banks can meet one-on-one with N.C.D.O.T. officials this week to ask questions about the two designs and pose concerns. Meetings are scheduled for:

Tuesday, January 7th: Ocracoke
Ocracoke Community Center
1009 Irvin Garrish Highway
Open House: 4 -7pm

Wednesday, January 8th: Rodanthe
Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Center
23186 Myrna Peters Road
Pre-Hearing Open House: 3-6pm

Wednesday, January 8th: Buxton
Cape Hatteras Secondary School
48576 N.C. 12
Formal Presentation: 7pm

Thursday, January 9th: Manteo
Dare County Administration Building - Room 168
954 Marshall Collins Drive
Pre-Hearing Open House: 5-6:30pm
Formal Presentation: 7pm

More information about both designs and their environmental impacts are available at the N.C.D.O.T. website:

Eric Mennel prepares the afternoon/evening "drive time" newscast on WUNC. Previously, he was a producer for The Story with Dick Gordon. Eric has reported for All Things Considered, This American Life, 99% Invisible and other radio programs. He covered protests and security measures at the 2012 Republican National Convention for WUSF Tampa and NPR News. One day, he hopes to own a home with a wrap-around porch.
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