Why would they charge a toll for the Mid Currituck bridge and not the Wright bridge? Be careful what you ask for.
Because they have to pay for the bridge. Since its inception, that has always been bonding out the majority of the costs, to be repaid by tolls.
MCB is a much longer, less evacuation useful, and much more expensive bridge than the WMB, Basnight, or the Jug Handle, and it doesn't produce a cost savings that can partially fund it (as was the case with both the Basnight and the Jug Handle).
I get all that. I respect what you're saying. The numbers just aren't there.
Normally, I'd agree with what you said. When all is said and done, this white elephant will tip the scales at near a billion dollars. Twice the 2021 estimate. What with material increases and fuel costs (not to mention the unforeseen costs) , how do they expect to get enough toll income over 4 months a year to pay for it? Without putting a toll on the Wright Brothers Bridge to help defray the cost?
Oh, I'm not arguing the numbers are there. That the numbers aren't there is why a half century in, it hasn't been built. To be built at all, it would have to revenue generate through tolls, and it has to have proof of that as a viable revenue stream in order to bond the portion they need to bond.
Most of the people who think they could get enough toll to cover the bond are here, or on FB groups chatting it up. From multiple practical aspects, it's hindered. It has existed as a NCDOT vanity proposal just for visibility and so the state can show other more viable and worthy projects by comparison, and to that extent, they've done fairly well for such an impoverished state.
Upkeep on WMB has been minimal in cost, so adding a toll there to fund the upkeep of it would'nt help much in terms of budget and would make MCB look like an even worse investment.
What people ignore entirely is that the conservative 2000s estimates still being used aren't just gross underestimations at this point, they were at the old numbers dramatically more expensive than other projects. It would be a huge undertaking, which is why it hasn't been undertaken.