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Project History

Nearly 30 years after the N.C. Department of Transportation began its efforts to replace the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge, construction began in March 2016.

As the only highway connection to the mainland, this bridge, which carries N.C. 12 over Oregon Inlet in Dare County, is a lifeline for the citizens of Hatteras Island and the tens of thousands of visitors to this area. Once completed, the new Bonner Bridge will provide a safe, reliable link for the island.

Highlights of the history of the project are below.

​March 2016​NCDOT breaks ground on the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge, marking the official beginning of construction.
​August 2015​Lawsuits challenging the Bonner Bridge replacement project are officially dropped after all conditions of a settlement agreement are met.
​June 2015​NCDOT and its partner agencies reach a settlement agreement with petitioners of a lawsuit challenging the Bonner Bridge replacement project. The agreement allows the department to move forward with replacing the Bonner Bridge with a new bridge that runs parallel to the existing. The settlement also contains conditions that, once met, would allow NCDOT to move forward with two other projects along N.C. 12 at New Inlet, a breach caused by Hurricane Irene, and at Rodanthe.
​July 2011​The Southern Environmental Law Center files the first of two lawsuits (another in August 2013) on behalf of both the Defenders of Wildlife and the National Wildlife Refuge Association.
​July 26, 2011​NCDOT awards a design-build contract to replace the Bonner Bridge; construction is scheduled to begin in early 2013.
​Dec. 20, 2010​The Federal Highway Administration approves the Final Environmental Impact Statement and issues a Record of Decision. State agencies begin issuing the necessary environmental permits to allow the NCDOT to move forward with a contract for design and construction of a new bridge.
​1994-2010​To address questions, comments and concerns about the preferred alternative identified in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, NCDOT completes additional detailed studies and analyses, working with the local community, state and federal agencies, as well as other stakeholders. The department completes the final environmental document and submits it to the Federal Highway Administration for review and approval.
​1993-1994​The Draft Environmental Impact Statement, a document examining the impact of construction on both the natural and human surroundings, is approved, followed by the release of the preferred alternative – the option NCDOT Identifies as having the least environmental impact – to build a parallel bridge.
​The Bonner Bridge replacement project is added to the State Transportation Improvement Program – NCDOT’s schedule for transportation priorities. The planning process begins to replace the existing Bonner Bridge.

4/16/2018 4:27 PM