For any of you who vacation down near Avon, Frisco or the Cape Hatteras area, you may want to keep yourself up to date on the Bonner Bridge repair that's been going on.
Back on December 3rd, my brother and father made a trip down to the Try My Nuts in Avon that will be opening in the Spring of 2014. After returning home that evening, they found out that the Bonner bridge was closed to all traffic only two hours after they crossed. The N.C Department of Transportation determined that there was an "immediate safety concern" due to the erosion of sand from the bridge's support structures after scans were performed.
After the emergency closure, the only way to get back down to Avon or back to the mainland from the island was by an emergency ferry route which added an additional 2 hours to complete the trip. This would be a traffic nightmare if this were to happen in the middle of Summer with all the vacationers in the OBX.
The bridge was reopened to traffic on December 15th after aggressive dredging allowed crews to pump sand from Oregon Inlet around the affected columns to provide support. Motorists may experience short-term closures on the bridge in coming weeks while crews work to install sandbags and devices called A-Jacks in the erosion area to provide additional support. NCDOT engineers will continue to closely monitor the bridge through weekly inspections and sonar scans. If there is any concern again, the appropriate steps will be taken to ensure public safety.
So if your 2014 Outer Banks Summer vacation plans include a trip across the Bonner Bridge and you find it temporarily closed, just know that it's a small price to pay to make sure everyone's vacation doesn't turn into a tragedy.