December 10, 2013
DOT official says Bonner Bridge
could open by the weekend
By IRENE NOLAN
Jennings, the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s First
District engineer, said tonight at a community meeting in Buxton that
the Bonner Bridge could open by this weekend or the first of next week.
the meeting at Cape Hatteras Secondary School auditorium, which was
attended by a standing-room only crowd, Jennings was reluctant to give
a best-case and worst-case scenario on how long the bridge will be
closed for safety reasons.
officials, in general, have not publicly announced those details
since the bridge closed on Tuesday, Dec. 3, saying only that they
needed more information.
tonight after giving an upbeat report on the dredging that pumped
30,000 cubic yards of sand around the scoured-out pilings that are the
problem, the audience kept pushing Jennings on the best case and worst
obviously didn't want to falsely raise anyone’s hopes, but, finally, he
said the best case would be this weekend or early next week and the
worst case would be 60 to 90 days.
“So far, we’ve had very good success with the dredging,” he said.
He added that the initial sonar scans have shown that the dredged sand has held in place “much better than we thought.”
“Give us a few more days,” he said.
said DOT will continue to check the sand depth around the scoured
pilings by sonar and with divers in the coming days to evaluate if the
sand has stayed in place and how it has compacted.
If all goes well, the bridge could be open within the week.
If not, the bridge could perhaps not reopen until emergency repairs are made.
awarded a $1.6 million contract to Carolina Bridge Company Inc. of
Orangeburg, S.C., last week for emergency repairs to the bridge.
contractor, Jennings said, has mobilized at the site and materials for
the repairs are arriving. Later this week, the company will drive two
test pilings nearing the scour area to help engineers better analyze
the conditions in the dynamic Oregon Inlet.
The Island Free Press will publish more information from the community meeting tomorrow.RELATED ARTICLES:
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