Governor Pat McCrory and Transportation Secretary Tony Tata announced the reopening of the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge on N.C. 12 at 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon. North Carolina Department of Transportation engineers deemed the bridge safe for traffic after several sonar scans, driving two test pilings, and multiple inspections over the past week. The emergency repair work to add more support to the bridge continues.
“I want to thank our NCDOT team for quickly implementing an action plan to provide emergency ferry service for the citizens of Hatteras Island and for all of their hard work to safely reopen the Bonner Bridge,” said Governor Pat McCrory. “This again highlights the need to replace the bridge as soon as possible and our administration will continue to fight to get that done.”
Following an emergency declaration by Governor McCrory, NCDOT hired a contractor and launched aggressive dredging efforts during the weekend of Dec. 7 and 8. Crews pumped approximately 30,000 cubic yards of sand from the main navigation channel of the Oregon Inlet to the location at Bent 166 underneath the Bonner Bridge where scour, or the erosion of sand from bridge pilings, caused NCDOT to close the bridge on Tuesday, Dec. 3.
“Our experts have closely analyzed all the data, and we are confident that the sand pumped through emergency dredging work last weekend fortified the support structure enough to allow traffic to safely travel on the bridge for now,” said State Transportation Secretary Tony Tata. ”We will continue to closely monitor the bridge through inspections and weekly sonar scans during the emergency repair work. If safety becomes a concern again, we will take the appropriate steps to ensure public safety.”
Press Release, December 16, 2013