Fourth Circuit Court affirms earlier ruling in favor of Mid-Currituck Bridge project

By on February 23, 2023

In a Feb. 23 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a December 2021 U.S. District Court ruling against a Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) suit, thus paving the way for the Mid-Currituck project to move ahead. (Read the decision here: 221103.P.pdf (uscourts.gov)

The proposed five-mile toll bridge from Aydlett on the Currituck mainland to the Currituck Outer Banks, with an estimated $600 million price tag, is viewed by many in Dare County as a way to mitigate major summer traffic congestion problems in towns such as Southern Shores and Duck. Both of those towns—as well as Currituck County, Dare County Tourism Board, Duck Community and Business Alliance and the Currituck Chamber of Commerce—have filed Amicus Curiae (friend of the court) briefs in the case, supporting the construction of the bridge.

In a passage summing up its decision, the Fourth Circuit ruling stated that the “Plaintiffs—an environmental organization and a group of citizens opposed to the bridge—claim the defendants didn’t follow the procedures laid out in the National Environmental Policy Act…when they approved the bridge project. The district court disagreed and granted summary judgment for the defendants. We affirm.”

In a statement after the Feb. 23 ruling, the Town of Southern Shores responded that, “The Court of Appeals basically found that the Transportation Agencies did not violate the National Environmental Policy Act in approving the bridge project. This decision overcomes a huge hurdle and allows planning, design and permitting work to resume.”

In the statement, Southern Shores Mayor Elizabeth Morey added that “the Town wishes to express its appreciation for all those whose hard work paid off in advancing the construction of this much- needed infrastructure.”

An email to the Voice from Duck Public Information Officer Kay Nickens noted that, “The Town is pleased with this decision and looks forward to the future development of the mid-Currituck Bridge.”

The SELC suit against the bridge was filed on behalf of the N.C. Wildlife Federation and a group called No Mid-Currituck Bridge, which is comprised of local residents on the mainland and Outer Banks who are opposed to the bridge. After Judge Louise Wood Flanagan of the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina ruled against the plaintiffs on Dec. 13, 2021, SELC appealed to the Fourth Circuit a little over a month later.

A release issued by SELC after the Feb. 23 ruling quoted senior attorney Kym Meyer stating that “North Carolina has many unmet transportation needs along its coast, but the Mid-Currituck Bridge is not one of them. We will continue to work to ensure that North Carolina money is not wasted on this costly, unwise project. There are much more affordable solutions to ease traffic in this area of the Outer Banks, and those solutions can be put in place much more swiftly, and with less damage to the Currituck Sound.”

 


BIDDER PRE-QUALIFICATION REQUEST:

Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: Roofing

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at https://app.buildingconnected.com/public/54da832ce3edb5050017438b for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at mterrell@barnhillcontracting.com or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).


 


Sussex Development is soliciting bids to turnkey supply and install FF&E for the new Tulls Creek Elementary School, 125 Campus Drive, Moyock, NC27929. This project is a new ground-up 2-story, Pre-K thru 5th grade school, approximately 118,000 square feet. Bid documents may be obtained through Christopher West Interiors LLC. Request bid documents via email to interiors@cwiusa.com. Pre-Bid RFIs will be accepted via email until Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 5:00PM EST. Pricing proposals are due Wednesday, August 14, 2024 by 5:00PM EST. All bids and inquires to be sent to interiors@cwiusa.com. Certified NC Hub, MBE, WBE, DBE, SBE are highly encouraged to participate. Sussex Development is an EOE and maintains a drug-free workplace.


 



Comments

  • John

    The Southern Poverty Law Center is a complete joke, posing as some environmental or social justice organization. The aquatic environment is not threatened by a bridge, in fact it harbors life. But their lawyer quickly illustrates how dishonest they in pursuit of their claims, as she says, “There are much more affordable solutions to ease traffic in this area of the Outer Banks, and those solutions can be put in place much more swiftly”…I sat in their briefing to Southern Shores City Council. Their solution? Put round a-bouts in every current stop light intersection and more up and down the entire OBX to increase traffic flow! A complete JOKE! Besides not working, I would love to see how their eminent domain when over with all of the OBX property owners!!

    Thursday, Feb 23 @ 7:09 pm
  • mike honcho

    PLEASE Kym Meyer tell us what these affordable solutions you speak of are. Making a statement without backing it up is WORTHLESS.

    Thursday, Feb 23 @ 7:10 pm
  • Dano

    Duck may start resolving the traffic problem by not having mid-morning trash pickup on Hwy 12. Trash trucks backing up traffic is just plain stupid.

    Thursday, Feb 23 @ 8:51 pm
  • Kdh backseat reviewer

    Over under on how many more court filings to stop the bridge? I got 1.5.

    Currituck might want to get ahead and think how the bridge will affect Currituck

    Thursday, Feb 23 @ 10:25 pm
  • Joe

    How is ending thousands of cars idling on Rt.12 (esp. along Sea Oats in SS) every Sat. & Sun. NOT good for the environment?

    Friday, Feb 24 @ 6:25 am
  • Matthew

    I think it’s rich that SELC is now concerned about the efficiency of our Budget when all they do is spend taxpayer’s money frivolously…

    Friday, Feb 24 @ 6:50 am
  • Greg Honeycutt

    SELC cost the State and Tax payers millions of more dollars with all the delays involving the replacement bridge across Oregon Inlet. They’ve done the same with the Mid County Bridge. Glad for the ruling. Will be interesting to see what other delaying tactics SELC have up their sleeve.

    Friday, Feb 24 @ 7:36 am
  • Frank Coleman

    John, they are far from the poverty law center, Kym and Co paid themselves a little over $22m (FYE March 2022) from donations received from people and organizations foolish enough to give them money or who have a vested interest in their legal shenanigans along the NC coast. They couldn’t care less about anything other than lining their pockets under the guise of Environmental protection. Sadly when this necessary project does move ahead what they will have achieved is doubling what it would have cost if the Bridge was built when it should have been. Unfortunate times we live in.

    Friday, Feb 24 @ 9:08 am
  • Bob

    If they are worried about damage to the sound, then why on earth have they pushed for so long for a 17 mile bridge from Oregon Inlet all the way to Rodanthe??

    So glad they have been told to pound sand for once…though I’m sure they will come up with who knows how many additional ways to hold things up via the courts…

    Friday, Feb 24 @ 9:38 am
  • Liz

    “There are much more affordable solutions to ease traffic in this area of the Outer Banks” Really? I’m glad I’m not the only one to notice that ridiculous statement. It goes right along with their ridiculous “solutions”.

    Friday, Feb 24 @ 9:42 am
  • lippy

    Ridiculous arguments from the environmentalists when they support building 200ft wind turbines off of our coast.
    In the event of a hurricane, You cannot safely evacuate tens of thousands of people using a 2 lane highway.

    BUILD THAT DAMN BRIDGE!!

    Friday, Feb 24 @ 10:25 am
  • Greg

    Corolla is the only beach area allowed to develop with no direct access on the East Coast. No permits were denied by State and Local agencies. Now the occupancy is still increasing there due to increased house size. Five bedroom homes are being replaced with much larger structures and remodeled into 10 bedroom homes. That scenario could easily increase visitor numbers by 50%. It is time for reality to prevail. SELC does good work in many areas. They are far off base on this issue. It is not about the Sound. The Sound will be fine. it is about the quality of life in Northern Dare County year round.

    Friday, Feb 24 @ 1:08 pm
  • Steven

    As for hurricanes, we generally have five days to prepare or leave. Plenty of time.

    The area never should have been built up and destroyed like it has.

    Friday, Feb 24 @ 1:08 pm
  • Joseph Narron

    BUILD IT!! STOP STALLING

    Friday, Feb 24 @ 1:29 pm
  • Jim Frye

    Now.
    Who will go after the SELC for legal charges?
    They’ve made millions when they find a friendly judge who grants them their fees.

    Friday, Feb 24 @ 1:54 pm
  • Greg

    SELC -Southern Enviromental Law Center, NOT Southern Poverty Law Center, SPLC!
    Get acronyms correct before disparaging a wonderful organization

    Friday, Feb 24 @ 2:55 pm
  • John

    Let’s collectively pray that they do not decide to appeal to the US Supreme Court and waste more of our time and taxpayer money!!

    The NCDOT should now be able to quickly move forward with permitting and receiving bid proposals. The expedited ruling by the appellate court should put the project back on track for completion by 2030.

    Friday, Feb 24 @ 2:56 pm
  • WindyBill

    GREG. It is ‘Southern Environmental Legal Cashflow Center’.

    Friday, Feb 24 @ 3:28 pm
  • Tom S

    As long as it’s not in your backyard people are all for it. No concern for the people who will be displaced/affected on both sides of the sound.

    Friday, Feb 24 @ 3:39 pm
  • John

    And in case you obviously missed it, I intentionally used the description “Poverty Law Center” … because that is what they truly champion, our poverty.

    Friday, Feb 24 @ 7:07 pm