(a)  This general permit is applicable to bridge replacement projects spanning no more than 400 feet of estuarine water, public trust area, and coastal wetland AECs.

(b)  Existing roadway deck width shall not be expanded to create additional lanes, with the exception that an existing one lane bridge may be expanded to two lanes where the Department of Environment and Natural Resources determines that authorization is warranted and the proposed project does not significantly affect the quality of the human and natural environment or unnecessarily endangers adjoining properties.

(c)  Replacement of existing bridges with new bridges shall not reduce vertical or horizontal navigational clearances.

(d)  All demolition debris shall be disposed of landward of all wetlands and the normal water level (NWL) or normal high water (NHW) level (as defined in 15A NCAC 07H .0106), and shall employ soil stabilization measures to prevent entry of sediments in the adjacent water bodies or wetlands.

(e)  Bridges and culverts shall be designed to allow passage of anticipated high water flows.

(f)  Measures sufficient to restrain sedimentation and erosion shall be implemented at each site.

(g)  Bridge or culvert replacement activities involving excavation or fill in wetlands, public trust areas, and estuarine waters shall meet the following conditions:

(1)           Replacing bridges with culverts shall not be allowed in primary nursery areas as defined by the Marine Fisheries or Wildlife Resources Commissions.

(2)           The total area of public trust area, estuarine waters, and wetlands to be excavated or filled shall not exceed 2,500 square feet except that the coastal wetland component shall not exceed 750 square feet.

(3)           Culverts shall not be used to replace bridges with open water spans greater than 50 feet.

(4)           There shall be no temporary placement or double handling of excavated or fill materials within waters or vegetated wetlands.

(5)           No excavated or fill material shall be placed in any wetlands or surrounding waters outside of the alignment of the fill area indicated on the work plat(s).

(6)           All excavated materials shall be confined above NWL or NHW and landward of any wetlands behind dikes or other retaining structures to prevent spill-over of solids into any wetlands or surrounding waters.

(7)           No bridges with a clearance of four feet or greater above the NWL or NHW shall be allowed to be replaced with culvert(s) unless the culvert design maintains the existing water depth, vertical clearance and horizontal clearance.

(8)           If a bridge is being replaced by a culvert(s) then the width of the waterbody shall not be decreased by more than 40 percent.

(9)           All pipe and culvert inverts placed within the Public Trust or the Estuarine Waters AECs shall be buried at least one foot below normal bed elevation to allow for passage of water and aquatic life. Culverts placed in wetlands are not subject to this requirement.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 113A-107; 113A-118.1; 113A-124;

Eff. June 1, 1996;

Amended Eff. May 1, 2010.