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JRNYP2C

Sunset Beach Bridge (NEW)

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Just wanted to gauge opinions on this issue for those that live near or vacation on Sunset Beach.

http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/2008.../NEWS/802170399

After 30 years of lawsuits and legal rangling, the flyover bridge will begin construction in a few months.

I have been going to this beach with friends each year for the past several years and I always wondered how this

particular beach got away with not having a safer bridge between the island and the mainland.

There have been at least two instances where we were basically stuck on the island because the old, existing bridge did

not close correctly and they had to call the engineers out to get it fixed. This was after Labor Day, so it wasn't as much

of a hardship as it may be during season when the island is packed. My biggest concern was what would happen if there was a medical emergency on the island when the bridge was "broke". It could be, in a sense, a matter of life or death.

Not trying to sound too ominous here.

We also had to evacuate during Hurricane Ophelia a couple of years ago. I'm sure they have an evacuation plan in place, but it would make me very nervous if something were to happen with the bridge during a situation like that.

Personally, I'm glad that this is finally happening. And it also seems as if the environmental watchdogs will be keeping a

close eye over the contractors as construction moves forward. This is important to me as well since the ecosystem around any of the barrier islands is a fragile one and needs to be maintained.

As for costs, I have read previously that the maintenance of the current bridge is astronomical. The hydraulic parts that help lift the bridge up and down aren't even manufactured anymore and any replacement parts would have to be made by hand.

My only fear is that Sunset becomes too commercialized like Ocean Isle or Holden Beach. I would hope that it still maintains its down home charm since there really isn't room for any commercialization. The whole island is basically homes and practically all the lots are taken. The only way I could see anything drastic is if some developer comes in and wants to buy up a whole block of homes to put in a high rise condo. But maybe that is putting the cart before the horse.

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Just wanted to gauge opinions on this issue for those that live near or vacation on Sunset Beach.

My only fear is that Sunset becomes too commercialized like Ocean Isle .

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There have been at least two instances where we were basically stuck on the island because the old, existing bridge did not close correctly and they had to call the engineers out to get it fixed. This was after Labor Day, so it wasn't as much of a hardship as it may be during season when the island is packed. My biggest concern was what would happen if there was a medical emergency on the island when the bridge was "broke". It could be, in a sense, a matter of life or death.

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