A county may grant to persons who between them own or occupy real property on both sides of a body of navigable water lying wholly within the county the right to construct and maintain across the body of water a bridge connecting the property. The board of commissioners shall first adopt a resolution declaring its intent to grant the right and calling a public hearing on the question. The board shall cause the resolution to be published once a week for four successive weeks before the hearing. At the hearing the board shall hear all interested persons who appear with respect to whether the grant would be in the public interest. If, after the hearing, the board finds that the grant is not contrary to the public interest, it may adopt an order granting the right to construct the bridge. The board may place reasonable terms and conditions, including time limitations, on the grant.
A person aggrieved by a grant may appeal the board of commissioners' order to the appropriate division of the General Court of Justice within 30 days after the day it is adopted. The court shall hear the matter de novo and has jurisdiction to try the issues arising and to grant the right to construct the bridge.
Before construction may be commenced on any bridge authorized pursuant to this section, the bridge's location and plans must be submitted to and approved by the Chief of Engineers of the United States Army and the Secretary of the Army. (Pub. Loc. 1191, c. 227; C.S., s. 1297; 1973, c. 822, s. 1.)