A form is now available online at www.darenc.com that enables citizens to submit recommendations. Click here to access the form. As part of the submission, information must be included that explains why the naming is warranted; for example, significant contributions and accomplishments of the individual at the local, state, and/or national level.
Click here to view NCDOT’s policy regarding honorary designations.
All submissions must be made by Thursday, January 31 at 5 p.m.
At the January 7 meeting of the Dare County Board of Commissioners (BOC), the commissioners decided to reach out to the public to obtain input on a potential name change for the new Bonner Bridge.
The idea was brought to the BOC’s attention by newly elected commissioner and former Kitty Hawk town councilman Ervin Bateman, who floated the idea of naming the bridge after Marc Basnight.
“The name Marc Basnight has come up many, many times,” he said. “I can’t think of a more deserving individual than him for having a bridge named after. He’s done a lot for the county, a lot for the Town of Kitty Hawk, and a lot for the people of Dare County for the last 40+ years, as a Board of Transportation Member, [and] as a senator.”
“[So we should] put it out to the public and ask for their input? Absolutely – I’m not opposed to that,” said Commissioner Chairman Bob Woodard.
The BOC then considered various mediums for reaching out to the public to get their responses, and decided to add an option to the Dare County website at for the public to submit their comments.
A timeframe for obtaining public input was also a concern, as once a new name was determined, the BOC would need to submit an application to the N.C. Board of Transportation in order to garner approval.
Chairman Bob Woodard noted that he had heard from the NCDOT that the bridge would open in March, 2019, which would give the BOC roughly two months to both collect public comments, and submit an application.
“With the application process, [we] may not have enough time if they make a dedication [of the new bridge] in March, which I’m fairly certain they will,” said Woodard.
In the end, the BOC passed a resolution to collect public input on a potential new name, and then revisit the responses at their first February meeting, scheduled for Feb. 4, 2019.
“We have our public information officer here who can get something out on our site,” said Woodard.
As of Friday, January 11, the county had not yet posted an online form for comment submissions, but this feature is expected in the near future.
Marc Basnight served as a Democratic member of the North Carolina State Senate for the 1st District from 1984 through 2011. Basnight was born in Manteo, and graduated from Manteo High School in 1966. Basnight chaired the Dare County tourism bureau from 1974 to 1976, was a member of the North Carolina Board of Transportation from 1977 to 1983, and is famed for his local restaurant, the Lone Cedar Café.
Herbert Covington Bonner was a Democratic U.S. Congressman for North Carolina from 1940 until 1965. Born in Washington, North Carolina, Bonner served in the United States Army during World War I, and later as secretary to Congressman Lindsay Warren from 1924 to 1940. He served for twelve full terms in Congress until his death on November 7, 1965.