North Carolina Department of Transportation is conducting additional
inspections of the Hebert C. Bonner Bridge, which carries Highway 12
over Oregon Inlet, Friday and Saturday to ensure the safety of the
traveling public along the Outer Banks.
Routine sonar scanning
of the bridge recently identified additional scouring, or areas where
sand has eroded from the support structures of the bridge. The
additional scans and inspections will allow engineers to examine the
area in greater detail.
At this time, the Bonner Bridge is open
and safe for travel. The bridge is monitored on a regular basis, and as
always, should safety ever become a concern it would be closed to
The bridge is the only way vehicles can travel directly
between Hatteras Island and the mainland. If NCDOT was ever required to
close it, the NC Ferry Division would provide emergency support to move
people and cars.
In the interest of being prepared for any
scenario, the Ferry Division has already tested its emergency ramps at
Stumpy Point and Rodanthe and can deploy additional ferries when
NCDOT will provide updated information once the scans and inspections are complete.
Read more about the history of the Bonner Bridge and challenges to building a new one.