Bonner Bridge reopens, repair work continues - WNCT

Bonner Bridge reopens, repair work continues

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OREGON INLET, N.C. -

The only road link to the Hatteras Island portion of the Outer Banks reopened Sunday after emergency dredging was completed to correct scoured out sand around the base of supports at the southern end of the bridge.

Gov. Pat McCrory and Transportation Secretary Tony Tata announce the reopening of the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge on N.C. 12 this afternoon.

North Carolina Department of Transportation engineers deemed the bridge safe for traffic after several sonar scans, driving two test pilings and multiple inspections over the past week.

"I want to thank our NCDOT team for quickly implementing an action plan to provide emergency ferry service for the citizens of Hatteras Island and for all of their hard work to safely reopen the Bonner Bridge," McCrory said. "This again highlights the need to replace the bridge as soon as possible, and our administration will continue to fight to get that done."

The bridge, which carries N.C. Highway 12 to the barrier island, closed earlier this month after sonar scans found the waters in the inlet had scoured out sand around the base of supports at the southern end of the bridge.

Crews pumped approximately 30,000 cubic yards of sand from the main navigation channel of the Oregon Inlet to the location at Bent 166 underneath the Bonner Bridge.

"Our experts have closely analyzed all the data, and we are confident that the sand pumped through emergency dredging work last weekend fortified the support structure enough to allow traffic to safely travel on the bridge for now." Tata said.

Tata said the NCDOT will continue to monitor the bridge and if "safety becomes a concern again, we will take the appropriate steps to ensure public safety." He said the emergency repair work will also continue to add more support.

NCDOT said it has spent more than $56 million in repairs and maintenance over the past two decades on the 50-year-old bridge.

In September, a federal judge approved plans for a parallel span to replace the aging Bonner Bridge.

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