A controversial bridge project that would make the northern Outer Banks more accessible could happen earlier than expected.
The Mid-Currituck Bridge has been on the drawing board for years. The seven-mile bridge would cross the Currituck sound and link Corolla to the mainland.
The State Department of Transportation heard a proposal for a quicker timeline for bridge construction earlier this month. Gov. Pat McCrory outlined the fast-tracking of the project in November.
The current cost estimate for the bridge is $410 million. It would be funded, in part, by tolls.
Environmental groups say the bridge is unnecessary and the ecological impacts are unknown.
If approved, construction could start in 2019 and run through 2025.