March 7, 2014
Traffic will be halted on Bonner Bridge
for 30 minutes on Monday, March 10
North Carolina Department of Transportation will halt traffic on both
sides of the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge on Highway 12 over Oregon
Inlet at 9 a.m. Monday, March 10, for approximately 30 minutes while
the department’s Location and Surveys Unit performs a routine mobile
scan of the bridge.
In 2012, the department installed scanning
technology to allow it to closely monitor any movement of the bridge. A
series of points are marked along 150 of the bridge’s 200 spans. Each
point is surveyed before the start of hurricane season and after each
storm to see if it has moved. This scan will be the first of several
scheduled scans done throughout the year, as well as after any severe
storms that may hit the area.
Signs will be erected on both
sides of the bridge to alert drivers. Concrete barriers interfere with
the scan, so NCDOT maintenance trucks will be parked at both ends of
the bridge to block traffic.
Good sunlight and minimum shadows
are needed for the scan to be done properly. It is necessary to stop
traffic to eliminate shadows from other vehicles during the scan. If it
is cloudy or the weather is not favorable, the scan may be rescheduled.
Motorists should expect delays and plan accordingly.
Emergency repairs complete, additional work underway
last month completed an emergency repair project at Bent 166 of the
Bonner Bridge where critical levels of scour, or sand erosion, around
the piles of the support structure required NCDOT to close the bridge
on Dec. 3, 2013. The bridge reopened to traffic on Dec. 15, following
an aggressive dredging effort that placed approximately 30,000 cubic
yards of sand around the piles.
Following the reopening of the
bridge, NCDOT began work with Carolina Bridge Company Inc. of
Orangeburg, S.C., on an emergency repair project at Bent 166 to provide
long-term stabilization to the support structure. The project included
placing 78 3-foot-by-3-foot sandbags, 158 4-foot-by-4-foot sandbags and
980 individual A-Jacks bundled together into multiple logs around Bent
Now that the emergency repair work is done, the
department has begun a similar project with Carolina Bridge Company
Inc. from Bent 162 to Bent 165 of the bridge. NCDOT has monitored scour
in this area since December. While the scour at this location is in no
way as critical as it was at Bent 166, the department decided to be
proactive and move forward with similar work out of an abundance of
caution while crews were still mobilized at the bridge.
project includes placing 3-foot square by 3-foot tall sandbags around
the pilings of each bent in this area and 5-foot square by two-foot
tall sandbags between each bent. The estimated $1.8 million project is
expected to take approximately three months to complete, weather
repairs are not considered a permanent fix for the aging Bonner Bridge.
After 50 years of weathering many storms, the bridge needs to be
replaced. In July 2011, NCDOT awarded a $215.8 million contract for the
design and construction of a new bridge. Design work began immediately
and construction of the new bridge was set to begin in early 2013.
However, lawsuits have put the project on hold.
Read more about the history of the Bonner Bridge and the challenges to replacing this lifeline.