started making repairs this morning on the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge,
which carries Highway 12 over Oregon Inlet.
They will repair, clean, and paint the steel girders that comprise the
three spans of the high-rise portion of the bridge over the main
channel. Crews will cut out deteriorating sections of the girders and
replace them with new steel. Once the new steel is in place, they will
paint it to protect it from the elements.
Crews will do the work by standing on decking placed under the bridge.
Special tarps will catch any of the old paint that falls off the bridge
during the improvement process to protect the environment.
The decking will reduce the vertical clearance for vessels traveling
through the navigational channel from 65 feet to 61 feet. The N.C.
Department of Transportation has coordinated this change with the U.S.
Coast Guard, which is alerting mariners through published notices and
safety broadcasts on the radio.
Astron General Contractors was originally scheduled to start work on
the $741,000 project in September 2011, but the repairs were postponed
until this week because of the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.
Weather permitting, the work is scheduled to be complete by May 22.
While the project is underway, motorists will encounter a lane closure
along a one-quarter mile section of the bridge over the main channel.
During the first few days of the project, the lane closure will be in
place during daylight hours only. Following that period, it will go
into effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Portable traffic signals will guide drivers through the work zone.
NCDOT encourages them to go slow, pay attention, and allow additional
time to reach their destinations.
For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit www.ncdot.gov/travel
or follow NCDOT on Twitter at www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter.
Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT
website. To access it, type “m.ncdot.gov” into the browser of your
smartphone and bookmark it for future reference. NCDOT Mobile is
compatible with the iPhone, Android and some newer Blackberry phones.