Long-delayed Outer Banks bridge to open in December

Outer Banks (Photo: Don Bowers & Matthew Andres)

MANTEO, N.C. (AP) — A new Outer Banks bridge in North Carolina that was delayed by years of legal challenges is expected to open in December.

The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Virginia, reports the Bonner Bridge is among highway projects totaling more than $1 billion expected to be completed soon.

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When it opens, the $246 million Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet will have taken nearly three years to build. The bridge was designed to last 30 years when built in 1963.

The state Transportation Department first included a replacement bridge in its 1989-1990 budget . Environmentalists and the state reached agreement on the project three years ago.

Another project in the works is the first passenger ferry to operate between Hatteras and Ocracoke islands. It’s expected to arrive next month and begin operating in 2019.