Problems with supports force NCDOT to close Bonner Bridge

The state Department of Transportation closed the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge after divers found structural problems that were more serious than earlier inspections had suggested.“Routine sonar scanning of the bridge identified scouring concerns, or areas where too much sand has eroded from the support structure of the bridge,” an NCDOT statement said.“As NCDOT crews continued to monitor these conditions, inspections revealed additional areas of concern, which led department officials to decide to close the bridge immediately for the safety of all residents and visitors of the area.”

The bridge over Oregon Inlet will remain closed until the state can do more inspections and make repairs. NCDOT has declared a state of emergency to expedite the process and steps are under way to begin work as soon as possible.Similar problems in the past have been addressed by bundling rocks around the bases of the pilings to collect sand to re-anchor the supports.“Closing the Bonner Bridge is necessary to keep all travelers safe, but we know it will have a devastating effect on the people who live along and visit the Outer Banks,” said NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata. “We will work to safely reopen this vital lifeline quickly and hope to be able to begin construction on a new bridge as soon as possible.”

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