AVON- State and county officials had an informational meeting about the Bonner Bridge with about 40-60 Hatteras Island residents Thursday night.
According to Jordan Hennessey with State Senator Bill Cook’s office, the residents were briefed about on-going periodic closures of the bridge for maintenance purposes. The closures would be well publicized and last no more that 45 minutes each. Crews will be installing sandbags and concrete armor units for emergency scour repairs
The meeting was mainly a question and answer session, according to Hennessey, led by State Senator Cook, Rep. Paul Tine, Dept. of Transportation officials and several members of the Dare County Board of Commissioners.
Hennessey said that rumors had been circulating around the island that the Bonner Bridge would close again after the holidays. The residents were assured that this was not the case and that there would only be the short periodic maintenance closures.
According to Hennessey, residents were briefed on what the reasoning was for closing the bridge earlier this month and the latest on litigation with environmental groups that is holding the building of a new bridge.
The crossing, which connects Hatteras Island to the mainland, closed December 3rd after engineers found significant instability in its foundation.
Officials closed the bridge after determining the current through Oregon Inlet had scoured out sand around the base of supports at the southern end. Department of Transportation officials had said reopening the bridge would require fortifying the bridge's support columns and bringing in additional sand.
Crews with the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company,LLC Dredge Alaska completed dredging operations December 8 . Afterwards, a scan of the repair work seemed promising. A follow-up scan December 15 confirmed that the results of the emergency dredging were satisfactory, allowing engineers to certify the integrity of the structure.