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Community day celebrating the new Bonner Bridge set for Saturday


The new Herbert C. Bonner Bridge under construction last year. It is now completed. Photo: C. Leinbach

NAGS HEAD – The North Carolina Department of Transportation, along with Dare County, the National Park Service and local community groups will host an informal community day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday) to celebrate the completion of the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge replacement.

During that time, the bridge will be open to the public for pedestrian and bicycle access from the north end of the bridge near the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, 8770 Oregon Inlet Rd.

Due to safety precautions, scooters, skateboards and roller blades will not be allowed. Limited shuttle service will be available to carry those needing assistance between the fishing center and the bridge.

Dare County Commission Chairman Bob Woodard and other officials will provide remarks beginning at 10 a.m. followed by a blessing and a wreath-laying ceremony at the top of the new bridge at 11 a.m.

Parking for the event is available at Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s Oregon Inlet Boat Ramp parking lot. Attendees are urged to dress warmly as forecasts call for temperatures in the 30s with winds blowing between 20 and 30 miles per hour.

Traffic is expected to be shifted in the days following the event. A more formal celebration for the new bridge is tentatively slated for early April. Details of the events will be announced at a later date.

The new bridge will replace the 55-year-old Bonner Bridge.

The Bonner Bridge Replacement Project began in March 2016. The new $252 million bridge is 2.8 miles long, 90 feet high at its apex and is designed for a 100-year life span.

A more formal bridge dedication event is being planned for early April.