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Project Fast Facts
  • Status: Projects Under Construction
  • County: Dare
  • Type of Project: Bridge Replacement
  • STIP Number: B-2500
  • Bridge Opening Date: Fall 2018
  • Completion Date: 2019
  • Estimated Cost: $246 million
  • Project Team: PCL Civil Constructors Inc., HDR Engineering Inc. of the Carolinas
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Bonner Bridge Projects

Project Overview and Purpose

The Herbert C. Bonner Bridge, which carries N.C. 12 over Oregon Inlet between Hatteras and Bodie islands, is well past its design life and is being replaced with a new bridge that will better withstand its coastal environment.

Through the use of high-durability concrete, stainless reinforcing steel and other engineering features, the new bridge is designed to have a 100-year life span and will provide more options for navigation under the bridge.

Project Highlights

The N.C. Department of Transportation studied eight options – called alternatives – for building the bridge within two corridors. Each alternative is detailed in what's called the Record of Decision, a document that explains NCDOT's decision for choosing the option now under construction.

That alternative, approved by the Federal Highway Administration, breaks the project into two phases:

  • Phase I, which includes building the new bridge just west of where the Bonner Bridge currently stands
  • Phase II, which includes implementing permanent solutions for the two breaches caused by Hurricane Irene in 2011

The exact plan for implementing future phases will be determined, based on NCDOT's active coastal monitoring program, which helps determine where and when to make improvements to N.C. 12 from the south end of the Bonner Bridge to Rodanthe.

Any of the alternatives (beach nourishment, road relocation and bridging) previously studied as part of the original environmental analysis could be considered for future phases.

Bonner Bridge Groundbreaking

Governor Pat McCrory broke ground on the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge replacement over Oregon Inlet on March 8, 2016, marking the official beginning of construction – a long-awaited milestone for people who live, work or visit the Outer Banks from throughout North Carolina and from around the world.

The following videos, photos, news releases, fact sheets and other information are available for media use. For media inquiries, contact the N.C. Department of Transportation Communications Office at (919) 707-2660.


Groundbreaking Photos
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Bonner Bridge Photos
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Full Video: Groundbreaking
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Groundbreaking B-Roll Footage
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Future Bonner Bridge Visualization

History of the Bonner Bridge
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Project History

Legal Challenges

NCDOT first began the process of investing in a replacement bridge in 1989, but construction was delayed for numerous years due to legal challenges. Most recently, lawsuits were filed in 2011 and August 2013 by the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of the Defenders of Wildlife and the National Wildlife Refuge Association.

The last of the legal challenges was resolved in August 2015, allowing NCDOT to proceed with plans to replace the Bonner Bridge.

The documents below detail specific events regarding those actions.

Project News Releases

Project Documents

Click on the link below to see archived documents and maps associated with the project.

Contact Information

Pablo Hernandez, P.E.
Resident Engineer
(252) 473-3637
Send a message
349 Water Plant Road
Unit B
Manteo, N.C. 27954

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.