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Federal officials approve plans for bridge on Outer Banks

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Federal officials have given North Carolina approval to move forward with planning of a 2-mile bridge along N.C. Highway 12.

The Federal Highway Administration approved the revised environmental assessment for a permanent bridge at Rodanthe. The 2.4-mile “jug handle” bridge would extend from the southern end of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge over the Pamlico Sound and into Rodanthe.

The new bridge is considered a long-term solution to keep N.C. 12 open through an area prone to severe storm damage. The N.C. Department of Transportation has said it prefers this design over a bridge along N.C. 12 because it minimizes impacts to the Pea Island refuge, the ocean shoreline and Rodanthe.

NCDOT will hold a series of public meetings this summer to publicize the preferred alternative.

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