Environmental Law Fails To Prevent Unnecessary Infrastructure Projects

Infrastructure in 2022 should look wildly different from infrastructure in 2002. Did you know a big reason for environmental and ecological changes in North America is the interstate system? Not only do they act as firm walls and divisions in between animal habitats, but they are also responsible for millions of animal deaths each year. That’s why we should be focusing on new projects like land bridges to save animals and allow them to move freely — and not building new bridges for ourselves.

In Chapel Hill, the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, alongside local residents, recently filed an appeal with the United States Court of Appeals in the Fourth Circuit to request a status change for the Mid-Currituck Bridge. The claim states that the bridge would cost taxpayers $500 million but has not undergone the public review of costs or researched environmental impacts since 2012, when the bridge was first conceived. 

Since then, sea level change has been projected to exceed expectations. The claim says that the bridge will likely be underwater before the project will even be paid off. The area is also vulnerable to storm damage and routine flooding. Moreover, other solutions exist, making the old plans obsolete.

Senior attorney Kym Hunter for the Southern Environmental Law Center said, “The Mid-Currituck Bridge is an extraordinarily bad investment for North Carolina. The bridge would primarily serve out-of-state tourists and only for a few weekends in the summer. When you factor in the limite use, the availability of cheaper and less damaging alternatives, and that much of the bridge project area will soon begin to flood and become less reliable due to sea level rise, it is hard to think of a worse way for North Carolina to spend scarce transportation funds.”

She added, “We urge Governor Cooper to think again before making this big and costly mistake. In the meantime, we will continue to challenge the illegal analysis in court.”