Marc Basnight Bridge Over Oregon Inlet Dedicated

Dedication plaque from the Bonner Bridge, removed from bridge for the Marc Basnight Bridge ribbon cutting.
Dedication plaque from the Bonner Bridge, removed from bridge for the Marc Basnight Bridge ribbon cutting.

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.

79th Season for Lost Colony

Sir Walter Raleigh (Ethan Lyvers) defends the colony in London from naysayers.
Sir Walter Raleigh (Ethan Lyvers) defends the colony in London from naysayers.

Now that’s the way to start the season!

The 79th year of The Lost Colony kicked off last night and all the elements for success was there and they didn’t miss.

The weather at Waterside Theatre where the play is performed was perfect, the acting was outstanding, the staging compelling and fun to watch and the dancing and singing were as good as it has ever been and maybe even a little bit better. There was a little bit of problem with the mikes, but that’s fixable.

Two notable actors who went on to other careers were honored at a pre-performance ceremony. Chief Wanchese, 1952—Carl Kasell, for many years the voice of NPR news received the Emma Neal Morrison Award for exceptional service to the arts in North Carolina and former Senator Pro Tem, State Senator Marc Basnight, who played a number of parts as a child, was given the  Skipper Bell award as a distinguished alumni of the production.

Basnight is battling ALS and could not attend, but his daughters were on hand to accept the award.

The evening though was all about the show and what a show it is. Filled with pageantry and great story telling, the tale of the doomed first attempt by the English to colonize the New World unfolds. Underfunded and with dubious support from Queen Elizabeth I at best, the fate of the 115 colonists was sealed almost before they set sail in 1587.

Their predicament was further complicated by the heavy-handed blundering of Ralph Lane who lead a military force that was supposed to hold Roanoke Island until the colonists arrived. His killing of the local chief, Wigina, insured a hostile welcome from local tribes.

Although circumstances were stacked against them, the play that Paul Green wrote in 1937 focuses on the pursuit of dreams and the perseverance it takes to achieve things we sometimes believe are beyond our reach.

Worth checking out—especially for visitors who have never seen the play before, performances will run through August 20.

Remember it’s outdoor theatre at night; bring a light sweater or jacket in case the temperature drops. It’s helpful to have mosquito repellant also.

Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates is a proud sponsor of The Lost Colony.

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