The NPS was a Cooperating Agency, together with the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge (PINWR) on the NC-12 Rodanthe Breach Long-Term Improvements Bonner Bridge Replacement Project Phase IIb Environmental Assessment prepared by the United States Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and issued May 13, 2016, and their subsequent record of decision (ROD) dated December 19, 2016. The NCDOT EA is available at: ((https://www.ncdot.gov/projects/NC12Rodanthe/download/RodantheBreachEAMainBody.pdf)
The NPS has determined, after an independent review, the NCDOT EA has adequately addressed impacts to the Seashore and the comments and suggestions to the lead agency (NCDOT) during the NEPA process have been satisfied. Because the NPS was a cooperating agency and the NCDOT EA complies with all NEPA-related requirements applicable to the NPS, the NPS is adopting the NCDOT EA without recirculating it. (40 CFR 1506.3, 43 CFR 46.320)
The new bridge will reroute NC Highway 12 in the Pamlico Sound to avoid the "S Curves" area at Mirlo Beach in Rodanthe, NC, an area that routinely experiences ocean overwash. Approximately 150 feet of the 2.3 mile-long bridge, located at the northernmost section of sound side construction adjacent to Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge (PINWR), will be constructed inside NPS boundaries. The remainder of the bridge will be built within PINWR and submerged lands owned by the State of North Carolina.
The National Park Service (NPS) has approved a plan submitted by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to improve transportation on Hatteras Island. A special use permit and highway easement deed will be issued by the NPS for NCDOT's construction of a 2.3 mile-long bridge, partially located within Cape Hatteras National Seashore.