Cook praises settlement agreement on Bonner Bridge

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RALEIGH — A settlement agreement was finalized this week, which will allow the North Carolina Department of Transportation to replace the aging Herbert C. Bonner Bridge over the Oregon Inlet with a new parallel bridge.

State agencies and the Federal Highway Administration reached a settlement agreement with environmental organizations, which enables NCDOT to replace the Bonner Bridge on N.C. Hwy. 12 in the Outer Banks.

State Sen. Bill Cook, who represents much of the area served by the bridge, issued the following statement:

“It’s a great day for the residents of the Outer Banks and the millions of visitors that travel to the area each year.  I’m extremely thankful and grateful that this agreement has been reached to replace the Bonner Bridge. The Outer Banks of North Carolina is a place of natural beauty. The Outer Banks is the birthplace of America, birthplace of aviation, and a destination for millions of visitors.

“About 2.4 million visitors travel from all around the world each year to see the outstanding wildlife and environmental beauty of the Outer Banks. According to the N.C. Department of Commerce the economic impact from tourism in Dare County is ranked fourth among North Carolina’s 100 counties. This bridge replacement will allow for continued growth.”