Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bonner Bridge Repairs Start Today

Our crews started making repairs this morning on the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge, which carries N.C. 12 over Oregon Inlet in Dare County.

They will repair, clean and paint the steel girders that make up three spans of the high-rise portion of the bridge over the main channel. Crews will cut out deteriorating sections of the girders and replace them with new steel. Once the new steel is in place, they will paint it to protect it from the elements.

How do you work on a bridge, over  an  inlet? Our workers will stand on decking placed under the bridge. Special tarps will catch any of the old paint that falls off the bridge during the project  to protect the environment.

The decking will reduce the vertical clearance for vessels traveling through the navigational channel in the Oregon Inlet from 65 feet to 61 feet. The N.C. Department of Transportation is working with the U.S. Coast Guard to inform mariners of the temporary change.

The work was originally scheduled to start last September but it was postponed until this week because of the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. Weather permitting, the work is should be complete by May 22.

The repair work will close one lane along a one-quarter mile section of the bridge over the main channel. During the first few days of the project, the lane closure will be in place during daylight hours only. Following that period, it will go into effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Look for  portable traffic signals to guide motorists through the work zone. If you're headed that way, be sure to allow  additional time to reach your destination and go slow and pay attention in the work zone.

Astron General Contractors  is working with NCDOT on the $741,000 project.