- Associated Press - Friday, October 30, 2015

KITTY HAWK, N.C. (AP) - The North Carolina Department of Transportation is preparing to build a temporary concrete bridge for the only north-south highway on the Outer Banks.

The project is to replace a temporary steel bridge erected four years ago along N.C. 12 on Pea Island. It also will give engineers time to devise a solution to protect the highway from rough weather and rising seas, according to The News & Observer of Raleigh (https://bit.ly/1PZc0fL ). There are several bridge projects in various stages of development in Dare County with the same goal, the newspaper reported Thursday.

T.A. Loving Co. of Goldsboro is expected to get the contract after bidding $14.2 million. The project on the 2,300-foot-long bridge is scheduled to be completed by spring 2017.

Transportation officials had begun building a $59 million bridge in the same place last year, meant to elevate N.C. 12 for two miles along its current track through the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. However, the plan was scrapped as part of a deal with conservation groups whose lawsuits had blocked another NCDOT project: a replacement for the deteriorating Bonner Bridge across Oregon Inlet.

Meanwhile, repairs are underway for damage on N.C. 12 in Kitty Hawk. An ocean storm last spring destroyed a few hundred yards of pavement and dunes. An adjoining stretch was wiped out in early October.

N.C. 12 traffic at Kitty Hawk will be detoured onto U.S. 158 until the repairs are finished in December.

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Information from: The News & Observer, https://www.newsobserver.com

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