It was a heck of a day to dedicate the replacement span for the Bonner Bridge. There was a cold driving rain. The wind was from the northeast and the weather was deteriorating.
It was, as North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said, ”The perfect day because it shows the resilience and the determination of the people of the Outer Banks. A nor’easter we can take.”
The governor closed his remarks with, “Let’s dedicate this bridge. Let’s go have fun on the Outer Banks…”
With that, the scissors were handed out, the ribbon cut and the new bridge across Oregon Inlet is officially the Marc Basnight Bridge.
The residents of the Outer Banks know very well who Marc Basnight was, but people who do not live here may not be aware of the influence the state senator had on eastern North Carolina.
Born, raised and still living in Manteo, Senator Basnight was the longest serving Senate Pro Tem in the state’s history. Although he supported a number of issues, he is best known for his strong advocacy for the state’s university system and better roads for eastern North Carolina.
Senator Basnight resigned in 2011 because of health issues.
He was intricately involved in the multiple years of negotiations and lawsuits that delayed construction of a replacement for the Bonner Bridge for years.
It maybe that the delay created a better bridge. The Marc Basnight Bridge has a projected design life of 100 years.
NCDOT Secretary Jim Trogdon outlined how massive and how well-designed the bridge is in his remarks.
“It took 100 engineers who worked on this project to work on this design,” he said. “If you take all the piles that have been place and them end to end it would stretch 16 miles. “It is 3550 feet long with the highest level navigation span and the third longest segmental box girder in North America.”
A segmental box girder is a construction technique that creates a lighter but stronger girder than traditional bridge construction.
Thinking of an Outer Banks vacations. Think Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates.