May 28, 2015
Bonner Bridge repairs almost completed
By IRENE NOLAN
to the concrete along the underside and to the steel crutch bents on
the Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet are on schedule to be completed by
mid-June, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
The bridge has remained open to traffic during these projects. However,
lane closures have been in place Monday through Friday during daylight
hours and portable traffic signals and/or flag crews have been used to
control traffic. There have been no lane closures on weekends.
Jennifer Heiss, communications officer with NCDOT, said this week that
crews have completed replacing loose and deteriorated concrete with
shotcrete on the south side of the bridge. The work has been
weather-dependent since shotcrete cannot be place unless temperatures
are above 40 degrees.
"During the colder months earlier this year, crews removed loose and
deteriorated concrete from areas on the north end of the bridge," Heiss
said in an e-mail. "Now that the weather is warmer and we have more
daylight hours, crews have moved back to the north side of the bridge
to place shotcrete on the areas where they removed the old concrete a
few months ago."
They are currently working up the north side of the high rise, she said, and the work should be completed in early to mid-June.
Precon Marine Inc. of Chesapeake, Va., is doing the work as part of a
$331,250 contract awarded in December. The contract calls for repairs
at approximately 249 locations identified as priority areas during the
most recent regular two-year inspection of the bridge in May of last
In addition to the concrete repair work, an $889,401 contract was also
awarded last December to Smith-Rowe LLC of Mount Airy for repairs to
the steel crutch bents currently in place from bent 108 through 114.
The steel crutch bents were installed in 1989 and after years of being
exposed to the elements, needed to be replaced. Work involves removing
the upper portion of each steel crutch bent from under the bridge deck
to just below the water surface. New steel crutch bents are then be
bolted into place.
Heiss said that because this work involves drilling holes into the
existing steel about 4 feet under water, crews on the project have had
to contend with currents, as well as wakes from nearby boats.
"Even with dealing with these conditions, the contractor is still on schedule," she said.
Five of the seven crutch bents are 100 percent complete at this time,
she said, and crews are currently working on the remaining two. They
also should be finished in early to mid-June.