The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved a revised environmental assessment for the bridge, which will extend from the southern end of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge over the Pamlico Sound into Rodanthe.
The NC 12 Rodanthe Bridge is estimated to cost between US$179.3 million and US$198.3 million and will be constructed using the design and build method, to speed up the letting and completion of the project. It is one of two projects south of the Oregon Inlet that make up Phase II of the Bonner Bridge replacement; Rodanthe Bridge project is considered Phase IIb.
The project for the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is designed to provide a long-term solution to keep the NC 12 highway open through an area that has had to deal with severe storm damage. A project carried out in 2014 used about 1.2 million cubic metres of dredged sand to protect the highway until a new bridge can be built.
Following public meetings in January 2014, NCDOT changed its preferred option for a long-term solution from a bridge within the existing NC 12 easement to one in a new location. The new location minimises impacts to the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, the ocean shoreline and the community of Rodanthe, while maintaining access for area residents and visitors to southern Hatteras Island.
The alternative has been redesigned since the 2014 public meetings in order to minimise impacts within Pamlico Sound and to the Rodanthe community. The NCDOT will now begin soliciting public comments on the revised environmental assessment, and will hold a set of local public meetings.