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Groups want their Outer Banks bridge appeal heard

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Conservation groups have asked a North Carolina trial judge to require that a state panel listen to their challenge of a permit needed to build a replacement Outer Banks bridge.

An attorney for the National Wildlife Refuge Association and Defenders of Wildlife says the Coastal Resources Commission erred when it refused to hear their appeal of a permit to the state Department of Transportation. The bridge would run parallel to the existing span over Oregon Inlet that links Hatteras Island to points north such as Nags Head.

The lawyer for the groups wrote to Wake County court just before Thanksgiving saying the permit challenge was credible. The court appeal could take several months.

The groups already have opposed the DOT's bridge plan in federal court. Construction could begin in 2013.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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