Bonner Bridge reopens to traffic
Posted December 15, 2013
HATTERAS ISLAND, N.C. — The Bonner Bridge on the Outer Banks – the only land link to Hatteras Island – reopened Sunday afternoon, 12 days after the North Carolina Department of Transportation, citing "immediate safety concerns," unexpectedly closed it.
The bridge in Dare County was closed Dec. 3 because sand was washing away from the bridge supports.
Engineers have deemed the bridge safe for traffic after several sonar scans, driving two test pilings and multiple inspections over the past week, Transportation Secretary Tony Tata said in a statement Sunday afternoon in a statement Sunday afternoon.
"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," Tata said.
Earlier this month, the state gave Carolina Bridge Company of Orangeburg, S.C. a $1.6 million contract to place layers of interlocking jacks and sand bags on both sides of part of the bridge. The contract required the work to be done in 90 days.
Last weekend, crews pumped approximately 30,000 cubic yards of sand from the Oregon Inlet channel and put it around pilings.
Emergency repair work to add more support to the bridge continues.
"We will continue to closely monitor the bridge through inspections and weekly sonar scans during the emergency repair work," Tata said. "If safety becomes a concern again, we will take the appropriate steps to ensure public safety."
An emergency ferry route, which was set up between Rodanthe and Stumpy Point – a 17-mile trip that takes more than two hours – will continue until Monday morning, the DOT said.