Fall Storms Create Construction Delays
The ribbon cutting for the new Bonner Bridge that spans Oregon Inlet has been moved back to sometime in January or February next year. NCDOT had hoped to get the replacement span for the aging bridge opened by the end of this year, but a series of storm event have delayed the final touches for completing the bridge.
Structurally the new span is completed. However, there is ongoing work to finish guardrails, remove construction equipment and minor work that goes into finishing any major project.
When the bridge does open, at first it may only be for one way traffic at a time, according to a statement from NCDOT. What will probably happen is initially traffic in one direction will use the new bridge, but the old bridge will be used for vehicle traveling in the opposite direction.
That strategy would allow the new span to be opened a little earlier, enabling the last minute steps needed to complete the bridge to be done in stages.
Groundbreaking for the new Bonner Bridge was in March of 2016, and at that time, NCDOT had hoped to have the bridge open for traffic by late fall of this year. Although they have missed that target date, for the most part, bridge construction has remained on schedule.
After the new span is completely open, work will begin on demolishing the old bridge. There will be a 1000’ fishing and observation pier left on the south or Hatteras Island side.
Demolition should be completed but the end of 2019.
The material removed during demolition will be taken to a site, cleaned and then taken to sea and used to create or expand three reefs off the Outer Banks coast.
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