May 10, 2016
First piling is driven for new Bonner Bridge
The first piling that
will form part of the foundation of the new Herbert C. Bonner
bridge was installed on Monday, May 9, marking a major milestone
in the long effort to replace the aging bridge that carries Highway 12
traffic across Oregon Inlet.
According to a news release from the governor's office, the bridge will
have a total of 673 pilings, ranging in length from 110 feet to 130
feet and made of concrete. Laid end to end, they would stretch for a
total of 16.5 miles — a little longer than the distance between Oregon
Inlet Fishing Center and Rodanthe.
Two different sized pilings will be used to form the foundation. The
majority of the pilings will be 36 inches square. However, the ones
used in the marsh, shallow water, and land portions of the new bridge
will be round, hollow columns 54 inches in diameter.
The first pilings will be installed in the middle of the bridge where
the navigation span will be and are being installed on a slight angle
to provide greater stability to support the new bridge.
Based on extensive analysis and modeling, the new bridge is designed to
eliminate problems with scour, which occurs when the sand washes away
from the pilings. The N.C. Department of Transportation monitors the
existing bridge for scour, which has caused safety concerns over the
years, and forced the department to close the bridge entirely in
“As we lay the foundation of the new Bonner Bridge, we are one step
closer to providing a much needed lifeline between the Outer Banks and
mainland North Carolina,” said Gov. Pat McCrory. “This is a great day
for the people of the Outer Banks and all of North Carolina as we take
a significant step toward better connecting our citizens to jobs,
healthcare and recreation.”
This project, including the demolition of the existing bridge, is
scheduled to be complete in September 2019. Much of the work is in open
water in Oregon Inlet and NCDOT cautions boaters to keep clear of
barges and anchor buoys.
For more information on the project, including videos, photos, fact
sheets and construction timelines, visit the Bonner Bridge Replacement