NCDOT is currently making repairs to the aging Herbert C. Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet in Dare County. The improvements will allow the bridge to remain in service without weight restrictions until the new bridge is complete in spring 2015. The bridge provides the only highway connection between Hatteras Island and mainland North Carolina.
Latest News and Updates
Crews are currently conducting scour protection work on three bents and rehabilitation on one bent of the Bonner Bridge. Bents are commonly used to support beams and girders. The scour protection will consist of crews placing rock-filled wire baskets on the bottom of the inlet between the bridge supports and putting large sandbags around the pilings.
NCDOT awarded the $1.8 million contract for the work to American Bridge Company Inc. of Coraopolis, Pa. Work began in October 2012, with final completion scheduled for early 2013.
NCDOT completed its latest repair project on May 9, 2012. It included repairing the steel and painting three of the main spans of the Bonner Bridge over the main channel. Astron General Contractors was originally scheduled to start work on the $741,000 project in late summer 2011, but the repairs were postponed until spring 2012 due to the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.
In early November 2011, crews completed a $3.2 million scour protection project to prevent the sand around the bridge’s support structures from eroding with the flow of water through the inlet. They installed devices called A-Jacks around 20 of the bridge’s piles. A-Jacks look like a much larger version of the childhood toy, jacks. When stacked together around the piles, they slow the water down, which helps sand fall down onto the floor of the inlet around the piles. The A-Jacks also help keep the existing sand in place.
To see photos of the repairs, visit the Project Photos section at the bottom on the page.
- Currently, no recent news releases.
Project Background and Purpose
The most recent bridge inspection gave the Bonner Bridge a sufficiency rating of four out of 100. That does not mean the bridge is unsafe. It means that, after studying a number of factors including bridge inspection results, traffic volumes and road widths, engineers used a standard formula to rate the bridge’s ability to remain in service. Based on those calculations, they consider the bridge “structurally deficient” and in need of replacement.
The sufficiency rating for the Bonner Bridge results from three main factors:
- Soil erosion has occurred over time around the original pilings on the south end of the bridge, and support pilings have been added;
- The bridge is not wide enough for the amount of traffic it carries; and
- Motorists would have to take a 100-mile detour if the bridge had to be taken out of service.
There are currently no legal load restrictions in place on the Bonner Bridge. Motorists seeking to transport a large load via the bridge should contact the NCDOT Oversize/Overweight Permit Office at (888) 221-8166.
NCDOT regularly monitors the condition of the bridge to ensure it is safe for travel and schedules repair work as needed, so the bridge can continue to serve as a viable transportation link to the Outer Banks until it is replaced. For more information on the bridge replacement project, please click here.
Photos from the Bonner Bridge repair project.
Jerry Jennings, P.E.
Division 1 Engineer
- Email: Contact Us
- Phone: 252-482-7977
- Address: 113 Airport Drive, Suite 100, Edenton, NC 27932
Resources for Local Property Owners
In many cases, it is inevitable that a certain amount of private property must be acquired. The displacement of homes and businesses is minimized to the extent practicable. The following brochures will answer questions about this process.