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Chapel Hill-bashing may play well on the Outer Banks, but it’s not helping people who live or work south of Bonner Bridge.
 
DOT Secretary Tony Tata sounded like the Fox News commentator he once was when he blasted “ivory tower elitists (who) file these lawsuits from their air-conditioned offices in Chapel Hill…with their lattes and their contempt, and chuckle while the good people of the Outer Banks are fighting hard to scratch out a living….”
 
Governor McCrory, Senator Berger and Speaker Tillis jumped on the bandwagon bashing the Southern Environmental Law Center for blocking the bridge.
 
Every story, like every bridge, has two sides. And so does this one.
 
Derb Carter, the law center’s director, said, “DOT’s plan to build new bridges in the exact same places over Oregon Inlet and along NC-12 is going to cause the exact same problems that led to the current bridge closure and recent road closures: the ocean will continue to scour the new bridges and erode the road, NCDOT admits its proposed bridges will end up in the ocean, and the people of Hatteras Island will continue to be stranded by NCDOT’s poor planning for decades to come.”
 
A longer – and, yes, costlier – bridge over the calm waters of Pamlico Sound is the right long-term decision, Carter said, but DOT refuses to consider that alternative.
 
He also questioned why “Bonner Bridge closed so suddenly, without warning to the public after the bridge had been declared safe for travel just days before.”
 
I get both sides in this debate. I spend a lot of time at OBX. I’ve been over Bonner Bridge and down NC 12 more times than I can count. I know people whose lives and livelihoods are affected every time the ocean takes away their lifeline.
 
I don’t pretend to know the right answer here. But I do know that the political posturing going on in Raleigh over lawyers in Chapel Hill isn’t helping Outer Bankers. Unfortunately, this is what passes for leadership in Raleigh today.
 
To get a good – and, yes, fair and balanced – picture of the problem, including the geography and the history, read N&O Senior Editor Dan Barkin’s excellent Q&A.
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dap916
# dap916
Monday, December 09, 2013 1:11 PM
Something has to be done with Bonner Bridge. Way before our current Govenor..McCrory...got into office 10 months ago, this bridge was identified as being a problem. Nothing was done. Now, I don't think that a 17 mile replacement for it is necessary but I do think that "replacing" it after many, many decades should happen. It's not safe. 'Nuff said. This isn't questioned from either side...dems or repubs.

Here, we have Gary Pearce trying (desperately, I might add) to somehow find some negatives with the state trying to solve the problem of an old "bridge over troubled water". It needs to be replaced or it needs to be repaired or there needs to be another outlet in place rather than that bridge.

I got a kick out of Pearce here bring up Chapel Hill here. I am reminded by what Jesse Helms said once: "We don't need a zoo...all we need to do is to put a fence around Chapel Hill".

'Nuff said. :-)
dap916
# dap916
Monday, December 09, 2013 1:13 PM
Something has to be done with Bonner Bridge. Way before our current Govenor..McCrory...got into office 10 months ago, this bridge was identified as being a problem. Nothing was done. Now, I don't think that a 17 mile replacement for it is necessary but I do think that "replacing" it after many, many decades should happen. It's not safe. 'Nuff said. This isn't questioned from either side...dems or repubs.

Here, we have Gary Pearce trying (desperately, I might add) to somehow find some negatives with the state trying to solve the problem of an old "bridge over troubled water". It needs to be replaced or it needs to be repaired or there needs to be another outlet in place rather than that bridge...that's just factual.

I got a kick out of Pearce bringing up Chapel Hill here. I am reminded by what Jesse Helms said once: "We don't need a zoo...all we need to do is to put a fence around Chapel Hill".

Pretty much says it all...doesn't it? :-)

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