Though the Bonner Bridge replacement is slated to open to vehicular traffic within a matter of days, a formal “grand opening” and official ribbon cutting ceremony is set for April 2, with Governor Roy Cooper among the expected guests.
NCDOT Public Relations Officer Tim Haas told the Island Free Press late last week that the bridge will open once traffic lines are painted on the ramps that lead to the bridge structure itself.
“That’s the only thing we’re waiting on, and that should happen in the next few days, assuming the weather holds,” he said.
The project in its entirety is set to be completed by the end of 2019, which includes about 10 months for the demolition of the original bridge.
During the recent “Community Day” for the public on February 9, roughly 1,000 people came out to walk or bike the bridge despite cold temperatures and high winds that made the trek a chilly affair. The day’s events included remarks from state, local and community leaders, a blessing of thankfulness for the bridge, and the laying of a wreath in Oregon Inlet to honor the connection between the people of the Outer Banks and the inlet.
At 2.8 miles long and 90-feet high, the new bridge, which connects N.C. 12 between Hatteras and Bodie Island, will replace the original bridge that was built in 1963. Constructed with high-durability concrete and stainless reinforcing steel, the new bridge is expected to have a 100-year lifespan.