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Case Study - North Carolina

Conflict between historic preservation and endangered sea turtles resolved through amending a Section 106 Programmatic Agreement for the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge.

Herbert C. Bonner Bridge in North Carolina (source: wikipedia commons)


On August 7, 2013, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) executed an amendment to the Section 106 Programmatic Agreement (PA) for the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge, along with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), and the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO). The amendment revises the bridge rail design for the new NC 12 roadway through Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. The design was needed to better shield the beach on the east side from direct light emanating from passenger vehicle headlights. The new design will better protect nesting sea turtles.  

The November 2010 PA and the new amendment address the effects to historic properties resulting from replacement of the existing Herbert C. Bonner Bridge carrying NC 12 over the Oregon Inlet in Dare County, North Carolina. The existing bridge provides the only highway connection between Hatteras Island and Bodie Island. NCDOT will replace the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge with a new bridge located to the west of the existing bridge (Phase I). Later phases of the project call for improvements to Highway NC 12 through the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) to the town of Rodanthe, actions which will be decided based on actual conditions at the point of time that additional work becomes necessary. This approach recognizes the dynamic nature of the island and the need to protect endangered species living in the NWR, which is managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Information on the project and the original 2010 PA can be found in the ACHP’s Case Digest archives.


Updated August 7, 2013

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