million contract to replace Bonner Bridge
After two decades of extensive environmental study and public outreach,
the North Carolina Department of Transportation today awarded the
contract to replace the Bonner Bridge in Dare County.
Secretary Gene Conti awarded the $215.8 million contract to the
design-build team of PCL Civil Constructors Inc. and HDR Engineering
Inc. of the Carolinas. The contract amount is $25.8 million less than
NCDOT’s estimated cost to build the new bridge.
“We’ve spent 20 years working hard to make a new bridge a reality, and
it’s exciting to reach this step in the process,” Conti said. “We look
forward to starting construction on this critically important project,
which will provide a safer, more reliable way for residents and
visitors to get from Hatteras Island to the mainland.”
The existing Bonner Bridge was built in 1962 and has far exceeded its
lifespan. In the past 10 years, NCDOT has spent $26.5 million
rehabilitating the 2.7-mile bridge to address the deterioration that
comes with age in its coastal setting.
The bridge over Oregon Inlet has a sufficiency rating of four out of
100. That does not mean the bridge is unsafe; it means the bridge no
longer meets the needs of today’s motorists.
To ensure the new bridge stands strong for decades to come, NCDOT
required the three design-build teams vying for the contract to
substitute stainless reinforcing steel for traditional black reinforced
steel in much of the bridge. Stainless steel is considerably more
durable and is not subject to the extensive corrosion typical of black
reinforced steel in the harsh coastal environment where the bridge is
The department also required that the teams add special mineral and
chemical mixtures to the concrete used to build the bridge to increase
its durability. With these factors, NCDOT expects the new bridge to
last more than 100 years.
Of the three teams, the department determined that PCL Civil
Constructors Inc. and HDR Engineering Inc. of the Carolinas provided
the best overall value for the project. The team had the lowest cost,
anticipates completing the project sooner than its competitors, and
requires minimal impacts to Bodie Island and the Pea Island National
Design work is scheduled to start in the next few weeks, with
construction beginning in late 2012.
PCL Civil Constructors is set to open the new bridge to traffic in
spring 2015 and demolish the majority of the existing bridge in 2016. A
portion of the existing bridge will remain in place and be transformed
into a fishing pier.
For more information about the Bonner Bridge replacement project, visit