The Outer Banks Just Got a Brand-New Bridge
Now all it needs is a name!
On North Carolina's barrier islands, nothing is more essential than a good, strong bridge.
This week, residents of the Outer Banks are celebrating the completion of a brand new one. The state-of-the-art roadway will connect Hatteras to the rest of the Outer Banks area, including Manteo, Nags Head, Rodanthe, Kitty Hawk, etc. The bridge, which still awaits a name, is a replacement for the old Herbert C. Bonner Bridge, which was built in 1963.
"The Herbert C. Bonner Bridge, which carries N.C. 12 over Oregon Inlet between Hatteras and Bodie islands, is well past its design life and is being replaced with a new bridge that will better withstand its coastal environment," the North Carolina Department of Transportation explains on its website.
The new bridge is a whopping 2.8 miles long and 90 feet high at its apex. According to NCDOT, it's the first bridge in the state of North Carolina to use stainless reinforcing steel, which will help protect against salt water erosion. It's scheduled to open to car traffic later this month.
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The existing Bonner Bridge will be demolished, minus a small section that may be converted into a pier, CNN reports.
In the meantime, residents still need to come up with a name for their shiny new bridge. After failing to come to an unanimous agreement (as required by state law) The Outer Banks Voice reports that The N.C. Board of Transportation's Road, Bridge and Ferry Naming Committee has recommended naming the new bridge after former State Senate President Marc Basnight.
The full Board of Transportation will reportedly vote on the recommendation on March 7, and with any luck, the new bridge will have a name by its grand opening!