The N.C. Department of Transportation plans to conduct a routine, annual scan of the bridge deck of the Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet on Friday, May 20.
This will require road crews to halt traffic on both ends of the Bonner Bridge, beginning at 9 a.m., for no longer than 30 minutes. This will allow crews from NCDOT’s Location and Surveys Unit to conduct the annual scan. The bridge will reopen to traffic at 9:30 a.m. immediately following the scan.
It is normal for a bridge to move, expand and contract with weather. By performing this scan once a year, as well as following hurricanes and other severe weather events, NCDOT is able to monitor and evaluate any abnormal movement of the bridge.
The Bonner Bridge has a series of GPS data points placed along the deck. During the scan, a truck with a GPS reader will slowly travel along the bridge, turn around and travel back. While the truck is traveling on the bridge, the reader will gather the location data of each of the data points.
This data will then be compared to previous data gathered last year to determine if there has been any abnormal movement of the bridge.
In addition to routine annual deck scans, NCDOT also performs monthly underwater sonar scans to monitor the bridge’s support structure for signs of scour, where sand has drifted away from the pilings.