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Transportation secretary blames environmentalists for bridge woes

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MANTEO, NC (AP) -- NC Department of Transportation Secretary Tony Tata says efforts to block construction of a replacement for the Bonner Bridge are to blame for the current problems.

The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reports Tata told a news conference Wednesday that blame for the delay in replacing the bridge lies with environmental groups who filed a lawsuit. He said opponents to the proposed bridge have no connection to the people or the land of Hatteras Island.

In September, a federal judge approved plans for a parallel span to replace the 50-year-old bridge, rejecting the objections of environmentalists who supported a 17-mile bridge with a price tag of an estimated $1.1 billion.

The Southern Environmental Law Center says the new bridge would cause the same problems that led to the current closure.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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