HATTERAS ISLAND, NC (WNCT) – Many people are starting to plan their summer vacations, with some booking rentals on the Outer Banks.
With many improvement projects in the works in the coastal community,9 On Your Side checked out the progress on some of the big developments affecting you.
The replacement Bonner Bridge is under construction, which could mean some traffic delays for beach-goers as they head to Hatteras Island this summer.
The new bridge is expected to last for 100 years compared to the current bridge, which was only expected to last for 30 years. The new bridge will span nearly three miles, connecting Bodie Island with Hatteras Island. Many business owners on the Outer Banks say this connection is vital.
“We need to protect our infrastructure, whether it’s a road or whether it’s a beach,’ said Doug Brindley, owner of Brindley Beach Vacations. ‘We have to keep people coming, returning to the Outer Banks so they can stand on this beach and enjoy it.”
The NC Department of Transportation is spending more than $200 million on the new replacement bridge, which they say will be completed and open to traffic by November 2018.
DOT says that residents and visitors should expect to see construction on the replacement Bonner Bridge until at least 2019, when the project is expected to wrap.
Construction began on the bridge in March after many years of planning. The 30-year lifespan of the current bridge is quickly approaching.