Bonner Bridge reopened, NCDOT says

December 15, 2013 

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Department of Transportation vehicles stop on the Bonner Bridge to unload concrete barriers Thursday. The N.C. DOT deemed the Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet unsafe for vehicles on Tuesday and shut it down. The dredge may be used to fortify parts of the pilings with sand.

CHUCK LIDDY — cliddy@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

The North Carolina Department of Transportation announced Sunday the immediate reopening of the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge across Oregon Inlet.

Multiple inspections have shown the bridge is safe, the department said in a news release. Recent tests included sonar scans, test pilings and several inspections. Meanwhile, the department will continue emergency work to repair the structure.

“I want to thank our NCDOT team for quickly implementing an action plan to provide emergency ferry service for the citizens of Hatteras Island and for all of their hard work to safely reopen the Bonner Bridge,” Gov. Pat McCrory said. “This again highlights the need to replace the bridge as soon as possible, and our adminstration will continue to fight to get that done.”

The bridge had been closed since Dec. 3. Last week, the state hired a contractor to pump about 30,000 cubic yards of sand from Oregon Inlet’s navigation channel at the spot under the bridge where erosion had caused its closing, NCDOT said in a release.

“Our experts have closely analyzed all the data, and we are confident that the sand pumped through emergency dredging work last weekend fortified the support structure enough to allow traffic to safely travel on the bridge for now,” state Transportation Secretary Tony Tata said. ”We will continue to closely monitor the bridge through inspections and weekly sonar scans during the emergency repair work.”

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