Southern Shores, joined by 5 other entities, files Amicus brief in Mid-Currituck Bridge case

By on June 23, 2022

(Town of Southern Shores)

On June 23, the Town of Southern Shores announced that it had filed an Amicus Curiae (friend of the court) brief in the ongoing litigation over the Mid-Currituck Bridge on June 13. It is joined in that filing by the Town of Duck, Currituck County, Dare County Tourism Board, Duck Community and Business Alliance and Currituck Chamber of Commerce.

Last December, Judge Louise Wood Flanagan of the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina ruled against the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) suit to stop the bridge project that advocates say will reduce serious summer traffic congestion in communities like Duck and Southern Shores.

That ruling however, came on the heels of a NCDOT announcement that the bridge would be delayed for two years due to the litigation – pushing the bridge build start date to at least 2025.

On Jan 31, 2022, the SELC filed an appeal asking that the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to declare the NCDOT 2012 analysis prepared for the bridge “illegal and outdated.” On April 5, SELC filed its opening briefs with that court. And the Southern Shores Town Council formerly agreed on May 3 to join the legal fray by filing the Amicus Brief.

Here are excerpts from the June 23 Southern Shores statement.

In support of construction of the long delayed Mid-Currituck Bridge, the Southern Shores Town Council drew together a strong coalition of neighboring municipalities and interested local organizations and authorized its Town Attorney to file an Amicus Brief in the appellate case now blocking construction of the bridge. The Amicus Curiae (friend of the court) Brief was filed on June 13, 2022, in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and is the first and only filing by local communities impacted by the delay in construction of the bridge.

In addition to the appellees, Southern Shore’s efforts are supported by strong resolutions in support passed by local governments and business organizations, including Dare County, Chowan County, Perquimans County, Camden County, Pasquotank County, Town of Kills Devil Hills, Town of Nags Head, Town of Kitty Hawk, the Albemarle Rural Planning Organization, the Outer Banks Association of Realtors, and the Outer Banks Homebuilders Association.

Due to development on the northern beaches, the Town of Southern Shores has experienced a tremendous increase in the amount of traffic on its residential streets as summer vacationers attempt to take short cuts to Duck and Corolla. Summer traffic creates long backups and congestion on internal streets making it extremely difficult for residents to leave their driveways, as well as reducing the response time of emergency services. In addition, because Southern Shores residential streets are maintained by the town, the additional wear and tear by thousands of vehicles every summer weekend creates a financial burden for the town.

The Mid-Currituck Bridge will provide much-needed relief on Southern Shores streets by providing a second means of access to the northern Outer Banks and will also provide a much-needed evacuation route during storm events. “The Mid-Currituck Bridge is vital to improving the quality of life for our residents and visitors,” said Southern Shores Mayor Elizabeth Morey. “We feel as though this Amicus Brief will help strengthen and further acknowledge the efforts of the Town to finally see the bridge built.”





  • Just a mom

    are the same folks who don’t want the bridge the ones who also don’t want the traffic through the side neighborhoods? Cause if so please take the proper quiet seat at this point. (I had to call my daughter for directions to do the very thing you don’t want to happen and I have lived here for over 2 decades !)

    Today the sun was quiet.
    It was a beautiful day to be a laborer on the outer banks of NC. Great day as a matter of fact…until we were waiting for lunch to be so graciously delivered via our bosses wife in Duck. Took her over an hour (Took my daughter an hour and a half to arrive per my request as well for a different reason)Then after another hour passes it becomes evident we must return to the beach for a variety of work related reasons and then we must return to finish the job … thank God no one was injured on the job as it would have been necessary for a life flight for anything dramatic as the road was impassable because it was loaded with half of the 250,000 folks here on vacation going shopping or the likes as it wasn’t beach weather. I understand and am grateful for those very people. However I am disgusted and dumbfounded that a bridge to the north hasn’t been completed. I deem it negligent if I need an ambulance. BUILD THE BRIDGE!
    Perhaps this isn’t eloquently written as would be my desire but for goodness sake stop such ridiculousness and just build a bridge. It’s not deterring anyone to not come back because of traffic. They love it here… they are coming. Pass laws to keep building height at a minimum and the things you can for those who don’t like big change but for the safety and common sense for all…build a bridge please.

    Thursday, Jun 23 @ 9:02 pm
  • Stuck in traffic

    You guys do all this court stuff.
    Has SS and Duck ever tried to work on anything else then. Move their traffic issues to Currituck
    Do we get to tell tourists that are going dare county, that they can’t take this bridge?
    Traffic today, that stupid bridge won’t do anything about rainy day traffic.
    What a super waste of money!!!!

    Thursday, Jun 23 @ 9:43 pm
  • Steven

    Easy really, do not go to Town or the northern Currituck area. Stay far away.
    Problem is, now Hatteras is being overrun and very dangerous.

    Friday, Jun 24 @ 5:31 am
  • Dano

    12 uncontrolled cross walks in Duck, Hwy 12 no turn lane, Southern Shores red lights on Hwy 12 along with numerous outlets to Hwy 12. A bridge will never cure these problems.

    Friday, Jun 24 @ 7:42 am
  • surf123

    You do not build a bridge that is only of dubious need 12 weekends or so a year. If they manage to get beyond the litigation and build, please name it the “Bridge of Convenience”.

    The delays this bridge aims to eliminate/reduce are no different from those experienced by commuters in major metropolitan areas. For those traveling on I-95 & I-64 they will be jammed up multiple times on the way down. I have to think the Currituck, just like Dare, needs local housing more than a weekender’s bridge.

    @Just a Mom…no one builds infrastructure for the convenience of a possible need for an ambulance. If potential medical issues are a primary concern of your try VA Beach, which has access to multiple great hospital systems. Safety (or for the children) is always the go to when no legitimate argument exists for something getting made/built/law changed/etc. As soon as those excuses pop up I know there is no legitimate or justifiable need.

    Friday, Jun 24 @ 9:49 am
  • Fay Shadley-Mullin

    The bridge can no come soon enough! We live in SouthernShores and become trapped due to the summer surge of traffic. It’s redicious.
    Build the bridge!!

    Friday, Jun 24 @ 9:53 am
  • Willy C

    What’s going to happen we they say lets talk mid currituck bridge and go down the coast

    Friday, Jun 24 @ 9:53 am
  • aLEX

    SS and Duck, build a jug handle bridge around yourselves. Oh but that diverts traffic from your merchants

    Friday, Jun 24 @ 12:20 pm
  • OBXN

    With or without the bridge, Duck will always be a bottleneck. I don’t recall any discussion about the bridge ever really acknowledging this fact. The way Duck has developed over the years has permanently embedded this bottleneck into the ordeal of passing through the town. But Duck officials should admit it and should do their part to help traffic move through their 25 mph zone.
    At very least, they should eliminate the uncontrolled cross walks. They’re a hazard for pedestrians and drivers and unnecessarily plug up traffic flow for the convenience of a few cross-walkers. Replace them with 2-3 key crossing points manned by police on Fri, Sat, and Sunday (and other unusually heavy traffic days) who stop traffic only as needed to allow pedestrians to cross. These controlled cross walks can be located at heavy left-turn locations and the same police manning them can assist with efficient turns across oncoming traffic.

    Friday, Jun 24 @ 12:33 pm
  • WindyBill

    How about some respect for Dare County needs? Our workers, citizens, and visitors need to come and go without dealing with Curritucks problems. We NEED a one lane widening of 158 from Guinguite Creek to the visitor center boldly designated “Kitty Hawk and South ONLY”!!

    Friday, Jun 24 @ 1:08 pm
  • Mike Pedneau

    Years of good memories fishing on Currituck Sound when Southern Shores was new, Duck and Corolla just an after thought, and no one other than developers thought of huge buildings on the northern coast.
    If built, the mid sound bridge will be North Carolina’s bridge to nowhere before the end of the century. At least toll the bridge so the vast majority of NC tax payers won’t have to pay for such a boondoggle.

    Friday, Jun 24 @ 1:43 pm
  • Jokes

    The bridge isn’t going to do anything to relieve the congestion with all those crosswalks. What about instead of spending all that money for the mid currituck bridge why don’t they split off of route 12 have a bypass bridge to get around duck. Corolla stay left business district duck stay right seems to be a no-brainer. Everyone complains about currituck I think people need to focus on that armpit duck that’s ridiculous.

    Friday, Jun 24 @ 2:54 pm
  • Richard Davis

    Is this mid county bridge gonna be in the center of Currituck beaches, Or will it cause another Traffic problem, Through Corolla?

    Friday, Jun 24 @ 7:13 pm
  • Native Daughter

    As has been the case since at least the mid 1970s, human greed outweighs our needed shrinking wildlife habitats, our wetlands, and the little hardwood forests we have left. Does anyone remember learning in science that we only breathe because of the trees & grasses? If we are so concerned with climate change, why are allowing more destruction of our once pristine but sinking island and inland areas. The more people move here and then get in positions of power the more our unique culture dies. With the economy in the shape it is, I would think building another rental or 2nd house for someone isn’t a priority. Yes, I’m tribal about a place our ancestors have lived for over three centuries.

    Friday, Jun 24 @ 7:34 pm
  • Richard D

    Sounds to me like most of you folks have forgotten the real object of this bridge in the 1st place, and that’s to keep people from drowning when a giant hurricane comes through here.
    The bridge will allow more people to get out in time. Build the bridge! In fact build another one for a quick escape from Colington Harbor to KDH, and don’t forget a bike trail on Colington as well.

    Friday, Jun 24 @ 7:36 pm
  • Alice

    @Jokes you are exactly right, my friend!! Why isn’t anyone looking at the huge impact that Duck has??? Let’s start there and see how much changes before we build a bridge in my backyard. Look for less expensive and smaller environmental impact first.

    Friday, Jun 24 @ 7:49 pm
  • STH

    A jug handle running out over the sound which bypasses the lower part of southern shores and Duck seems like a cheap and reasonable alternative.

    Let’s also talk about siphoning off the crush of visitors traveling Rt12 to Corolla beaches because Duck and Southern Shores refuse to provide beach access or parking or even driving on the streets off Rt 12 for that matter. Duck and Southern Shores are locking arms to kick the tourist can down the road to Corolla rather than sharing in the discomfort during the summer months.

    Saturday, Jun 25 @ 2:36 pm
  • STH

    As a transplant from the Northeast and veteran of watching a great number of these boondoggles I’ve learned one thing. When something like the mid Currituck Bridge is being pushed so hard but doesn’t seem to give a benefit proportional to the cash outlay you have to follow the money trail. Duck and Southern Shores are obviously on board to keep people out of their little slice of heaven but keep an eye on the politicians who are the loudest. Why is that? What do they gain by pushing so hard?

    Saturday, Jun 25 @ 2:41 pm
  • BK

    Sorry to disagree but now in 2022 building a 2-LANE bridge before correcting infrastructure gaps including at minimum an emergency lane on 12N IMO is both reckless and foolish.

    I suggest everyone take a ride from SS to Corolla on a check in day or mid-day on any rainy day- take pictures of cars sitting out on 12 waiting to enter overcrowded shopping areas- maybe video the cars that don’t (or can’t with no room) pull over for emergency vehicles- yep even in SS

    Seems 12 can be widened when convenient to enter a subdivision or shopping area-
    No comment on the hazard for emergency response and transport for those flower pots center lane in Duck!

    Be interesting the first breakdown on MCB with same 2-lane hazard
    At minimum bridge supporters ought to push for emergency lane and pull off sections for disabled vehicles
    But sadly without addressing Rt12, access to urgent care, vet emergencies, food markets, worker housing “north” even SS and Ducks problems won’t be solved

    Saturday, Jun 25 @ 2:56 pm
  • A. Guy

    The area is overdeveloped – self-induced problems. Zoning? Planning? It’s already like the Jersey Shore north of Whalebone. Yogi Berra’s quote applies: “No one goes there anymore. Too many people.”

    Saturday, Jun 25 @ 4:17 pm