bonner bridge negotiations = hiking electric bills on hatteras?
After three years of contentious legal haggling NCDOT and the Southern Environmental Law Center are in negotiations to resolve their differences over a replacement span for the Bonner Bridge. As Irene Nolan points out, writing for the Island Free Press, the most likely scenario–a seven mile span in Pamilco Sound at the southern end of Pea Island–could create an economic hardship for Cape Hatteras residents.
“A 7-mile bridge that is on the table as the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Southern Environmental Law Center negotiate an agreement to end legal action over the replacement of the Bonner Bridge would be costly to Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative members on Hatteras Island.
The 7-mile span that is under discussion would run out into the Pamlico Sound from just north of Pea Island Inlet to northern Rodanthe and would eliminate the need for DOT to bridge two hotspots where the ocean threatens Highway 12 on the southern end of the refuge.
The Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative, which supplies power to all of Hatteras Island, was allowed as defendant-intervenor in the lawsuit, because a longer bridge would substantially increase electric rates.”