Bonner Bridge reopens to traffic - WNCN: News, Weather

Bonner Bridge reopens to traffic

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CAPE HATTERAS, N.C. - Governor Pat McCrory and Transportation Secretary Tony Tata announce the reopening of the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge on N.C. 12 at 4 p.m. Sunday 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. The emergency repair work to add more support to the bridge continues.

“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," said Governor Pat McCrory. "This again highlights the need to replace the bridge as soon as possible, and our administration will continue to fight to get that done."

Following an emergency declaration by Governor McCrory,  NCDOT hired a contractor to dredge the weekend of Dec. 7 and 8. 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 where scour caused NCDOT to close the bridge.

Officials closed the bridge on December 3rd.

“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.” said State Transportation Secretary Tony Tata.

Emergency ferry service between Rodanthe and Stumpy Point will continue until Monday morning. The last ferry out of Stumpy Point will be at 5 a.m. and the last ferry out of Rodanthe will be at 6 a.m.

This week, contractors are scheduled to begin installing the four-foot tall by four-foot wide sandbags and four-foot tall A-Jacks that will provide support to the bridge pilings in an effort to prevent further scour from occurring.

NCDOT awarded a $1.6 million contract to Carolina Bridge Company Inc. of Orangeburg, S.C. for emergency repairs on the Bonner Bridge.

The emergency repairs are not considered a permanent fix for the aging Bonner Bridge. After 50 years of weathering many storms, the bridge needs to be replaced. In July 2011, NCDOT awarded a $215.8 million contract for the design and construction of a new bridge. Design work began immediately and construction of the new bridge was set to begin in early 2013; however, lawsuits have put the project on hold.

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