NCDOT cautious about chances of opening Bonner next week

A slight possibility that the Bonner Bridge could reopen as early as next week was the most positive news to come out of a public meeting in Buxton Tuesday night.

A standing-room-only crowd filled the gymnasium at the Cape Hatteras Secondary School and provided Hatteras Island residents their first chance to interact with county officials since the emergency closing of the bridge last week.

Dare County Manager Bobby Outten, state Department of Transportation District 1 Engineer Jerry Jennings, Assistant Director of Ferry Operations Jed Dixon and Malcolm Fearing, the region’s representative on the Board of Transportation, all weighed in.

Others in attendance included county commissioners Bob Woodard, Wally Overman and Allen Burrus, Director of Emergency Management Sandy Sanderson and members of state and county law enforcement.

The crowd, while expressing frustration at the process that has stretched over 20 years to build a replacement for the deteriorating 50-year-old bridge, was polite. Many of the comments were met with rounds of applause.

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