The first pilings are officially installed, meaning construction on the new Bonner Bridge has begun! Breaking ground on March 8th this year, construction is well underway to replace the current Bonner Bridge. A long 25 years in the making, a bridge this size of course has to go through many evaluations, studies, and regulations to get approved and started. The current bridge was built in 1963 and was supposed to be used for only 30 years.
Unless you’re traveling by boat, the Bonner Bridge is the only connection between Hatteras Island and Outer Banks northern beaches, and in turn, the mainland. Locals and tourists alike depend on the bridge to connect them to major cities. Thinking about all of the great things that the bridge connects us to such as Cape Hatteras National Seashore, some of the best charter fishing on the East Coast, and thousands of vacation homes, it’s hard to imagine where we would be without it.
The new bridge will be built to better withstand our Outer Banks weather, and will be made with stainless steel and concrete that will be more conducive to our shift sands and currents of the waters. The new bridge is being constructed right next to the current Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet and will also be 2.4 miles long.
The current Bonner Bridge, also referred to as the roller coaster or the highway to heaven, has been our trusty connection to the more remote southern Outer Banks beaches for decades. The new, and less intimating, bridge is expected to open in 2018. We look forward to this new structure to continue to connect us to the beautiful Hatteras Island. You can view a neat visualization of this project here.