At last, a new Bonner Bridge!
A new Herbert C. Bonner Bridge has been built!
The bridge spans over Oregon Inlet between Hatteras Island and Bodie Island. The bridge features a build of high durability concrete and stainless reinforcing steel making it a first of North Carolina bridges. With a 100-year lifespan compared to the 30-year design life of the old bridge, the new Bonner Bridge is better equipped to withstand its coastal environment and allows for better navigation through the inlet beneath.
The $250 million spans 2.8 miles long and is built to last! The new bridge improves safety using 12-foot-wide lanes and 8-foot-wide shoulders. Before beginning construction, engineers ran the design through countless computer simulations of the worst storms to hit the Outer Banks over the past 150+ years. Inlet currents, huge waves, and extremely high water levels were just a few variables tested. They even simulated a barge running into the supports of the bridge.
Construction began in March of 2016 and the new bridge is planned to open to traffic in February of 2019 how exciting! Visitors and locals alike are amazed at the structure and look forward to the grand opening. After completion, 1,000 feet of the existing bridge will remain at the South end for pedestrians to enjoy views of wildlife and Oregon Inlet. The new Herbert C. Bonner Bridge, unique in its design, will bring comfort and security to visitors and locals traveling on Highway 12.