Dare County released a video on February 3rd that outlined the progress of the Bonner Bridge replacement project to date.
According to the latest update, both the southern and northern sections of the new Bonner Bridge are beginning to take shape. On the northern end of the project, crews have installed the first five spans of girders and continue making their way south with the installation of pilings and caps. Concrete was also poured on the first two spans of the bridge deck, forming the surface that will serve as the bridge’s roadway or driving surface.
On the water, (aka in the inlet), with the first two footings poured, construction has begun on two of the 61’ ft. columns that will support the bridge’s 11 highest spans.
Further south, pile driving has begun near the bridge’s southern shoreline. Crews have completed pile driving on one of the pilings groupings, and are continuing their efforts north to meet the work already in progress in the waters of the inlet. Crews are also working on the completion of the southernmost land-based girder spans before eventually moving the cranes to another site on the project.
Meanwhile, at the Pea Island Interim Bridge site, with 24 spans of the new bridge completed, crews are now working at both the north and south ends of the bridge on the retaining walls. This will enable them to drive and install the pilings for the bridge’s end bents.
“Right now we are 39% complete [on the Bonner Bridge], and that includes the design component – the design counts for 9-11% [of the project],” explains Pablo A. Hernandez, the resident engineer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the project manager for both bridges.
“On the [Pea Island bridge], we’re about 40% complete,” he adds. “Since the New Year, the contractor has really picked up the pace – every time you drive by, there’s more and more activity going on.”
“Obviously, we’d always like to be a little further along, but given the steep learning curve, the weather conditions, Hurricane Matthew, and how quickly this project came together after the lawsuit settlement, I’m not disappointed,” says Hernandez.
The new Bonner Bridge is slated to be completed by fall of 2018, and the “old” Bonner Bridge will be torn down by fall 2019.
During the ongoing construction, drivers should continue to expect daytime lane closures Monday through Friday, and should allow for extra travel time accordingly.
In addition, occasional schedule nighttime closures lasting up to 30 minutes may occur to allow for delivery of construction materials to the site(s.) NCDOT will provide advanced notice of these road closures via various online and social media resources, including their Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as via their website, https://www.ncdot.gov/traffictravel/.
Travelers can also visit https://www.ncdot.gov/nc12/ for continual updates on the progress of the new Bonner Bridge.