Released by the Office of the Governor
On March 3, 2016, Governor Pat McCrory announced a groundbreaking celebration for the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge replacement is being held on March 8, 2016, at 10am, in the parking lot at the south end of the bridge. The groundbreaking will mark a historical day as construction of a new Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet gets underway in Dare County.
“I’m proud that my administration could finally break through the litigation stalemate that had this project stalled for years,” said Governor McCrory. “Bonner Bridge is a lifeline for Hatteras Island. To see this project actually break ground will be a great day for the people who live and work on the Outer Banks and throughout North Carolina, as well as millions of visitors from across the state, nation and world.”
The NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) worked for years with the local community, as well as state and federal agencies, to study and develop plans to replace the existing bridge along NC-12 with a new parallel bridge. In 2011, the department hired a contractor for the design and construction of the new bridge; but, soon after, litigation stalled the process and no work has been done on a replacement bridge until now. In June 2015, Governor McCrory and NCDOT reached a settlement agreement with the petitioners that allowed the state to move forward with replacing the Bonner Bridge.
According to the project site, the Bonner Bridge is considered an important lifeline to NC’s economy. The bridge initially opened in 1963, and currently provides the only highway connection between Hatteras Island and the NC mainland.
The Bonner Bridge Replacement Project involves building a 3.5-mile bridge, which will run parallel to the existing bridge, over the Oregon Inlet to:
- Provide a new, reliable way for travel from Bodie Island to Hatteras Island.
- Replace Bonner Bridge with a design that reduces future dredging needs and also serves navigation needs while allowing natural channel movement.
- Provide a new bridge that shoreline movement will not endanger through 2050.
For more information on the history of the Bonner Bridge replacement project visit: ncdot.gov/projects/bonnerbridgereplace.
The office of the Governor is online at governor.nc.gov.
Parking for the GroundBreaking Celebration: Parking will not be available at the event site. Dare County will provide shuttles from the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center beginning at 8:30am, with the last shuttle leaving for the event at 9:30am.