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NC environmentalists appeal Bonner Bridge decision

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The case involving a replacement for the Bonner Bridge along North Carolina's Outer Banks is back in the courts with environmental groups appealing a judge's decision allowing construction of a parallel span.

The Southern Environmental Law Center is appealing a judge's decision last month allowing the state to replace the 2.4-mile bridge across the Oregon Inlet. Environmentalists support a 17-mile bridge into the Pamlico Sound with an estimated cost of $1.1 billion.

The SELC says building the parallel bridge to connect to N.C. Highway 12 on Hatteras Island ignores washouts and breaches on the coastal road. State Transportation Department Secretary Tony Tata says the SELC's appeal hurts the state's ability to keep the bridge open.

The Herbert C. Bonner Bridge was designed to last 30 years when built in 1963.

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