Final touches on the Basnight Bridge across Oregon Inlet will likely continue through the end of 2019 and may possibly extend into 2020, however, lane closures will only occur sporadically, per a recent update from NCDOT Public Relations Officer Tim Hass.
“Lane closures will occur once or twice a week through the end of the year, and work on the Basnight Bridge will stop on June 15, , for the summer season, if there is still work left to do at that time,” said Hass.
While there is no concrete timeframe on when all work on the Basnight Bridge will be completely finished, only a small “punch list” of final touches remain, such as cleaning excess concrete splatters, adding final bolts, and other small tasks.
The speed limit on the Basnight Bridge speed limit will continue to be 45 mph for the immediate future, because it is still considered an active construction zone. It will eventually be lifted to 55 mph when all work is finalized.
Meanwhile, demolition of the old Bonner Bridge continues in earnest, with roughly 45% of the demolition project complete as of October 17.
The discarded bridge material is being removed by cranes, and is being transported through Oregon Inlet by barge in order for the debris to bolster artificial reef sites near the inlet. 1,000 feet of the bridge on the southern end, (close to the existing pedestrian bridge), will remain standing to serve as a fishing pier and a pedestrian walkway for visitors.
NCDOT also recently updated the planned construction activities at the Jug Handle Bridge site from October 24 through November 26. The Jug Handle Bridge is considered part of Phase II of the Bonner Bridge Replacement Project, and is the last of the three bridges to be built on Hatteras Island. The Jug Handle Bridge will bypass the S-Turns section of N.C. Highway 12, which is highly susceptible to breaches during storms.
On the southern end of the project, concrete cylinder piles will be driven for Bridge Bent 15 to Bent 19 (i.e., 910 feet to 1,300 feet from the shoreline), while concrete for the bridge deck will be placed for spans located 35 feet to 618 feet from the shoreline. On the northern end of the project in Rodanthe, work will continue on cap concrete placements and girders, and concrete cylinder test piles will be driven for Bridge Bent 96 to Bent 101 (on land, approximately 600 feet to 1,275 feet from the northern shoreline). Pile driving can be expected to take place any time between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., Monday through Sunday.
Work will also continue on the two work trestles located at both sides of the Jug Handle Bridge project, which will be used to shuttle materials out to the open Pamlico Sound waters once the project reaches that stage.
All pile driving for the Jug Handle Bridge is anticipated to be complete in the summer of 2020, and the project completion date is currently targeted for late 2020 or early 2021.
For more information on the ongoing Jug Handle Bridge project, visit https://www.ncdot.gov/projects/nc-12-rodanthe/Pages/default.aspx.