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New Oregon Inlet Bridge Now Open to Traffic

Dozens of folks walked across the new bridge over the Oregon Inlet that is replacing Bonner Bridge Feb. 9 during a community day. The bridge opened to traffic Feb. 25. Photo: NCDOT

NAGS HEAD – The newly completed 2.8-mile bridge across Oregon Inlet opened to the public at 12:20 p.m. Monday, the North Carolina Department of Transportation announced.

The new bridge, which at its highest point is 90 feet above Oregon Inlet with 8-foot shoulders on each side, is expected to last 100 years. It is the first bridge in the state built with stainless reinforcing steel, which will provide extra protection against its salt water environment, according to NCDOT.

A dedication is planned for April 2 for which details will be announced. An informal “community day” event to celebrate completion of the new bridge was Feb. 9.

“It’s a great day for all residents and visitors to the Outer Banks,” said NCDOT Board Member Allen Moran in a statement. “This new bridge will be a critical lifeline to the people and the pristine beaches of Hatteras Island for generations to come.”

Construction began in March 2016 on the state-of-the-art $252 million replacement for the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge built in 1963.

Demolition of the old bridge will begin soon and should be complete by the end of the year.A 1,000-foot section of the south end of the old bridge will remain in place as a pedestrian walkway.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.