Elected leaders applaud deal on new Oregon Inlet bridge

By on June 16, 2015



As soon as word came from Raleigh that the long-delayed Bonner Bridge replacement over Oregon Inlet was a go, elected officials weighed in on what is hoped to be a harbinger of a final solution for the bridge and the N.C. 12 corridor through the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.

State Sen, Bill Cook, R-1st District, said: “It’s a great day for the residents of the Outer Banks and the millions of visitors that travel to the area each year. I’m extremely thankful and grateful that this agreement has been reached to replace the Bonner Bridge.

“The Outer Banks of North Carolina is a place of natural beauty. The Outer Banks is the birthplace of America, birthplace of aviation, and a destination for millions of visitors.


Sen. Bill Cook

“About 2.4 million visitors travel from all around the world each year to see the outstanding wildlife and environmental beauty of the Outer Banks. According to the N.C. Department of Commerce the economic impact from tourism in Dare County is ranked #4 among North Carolina’s 100 counties. This bridge replacement will allow for continued growth.”

State Rep. Paul Tine, U-6th District, released the following statement:


Rep. Paul Tine

“Bonner Bridge has long been a concern for the people of the Outer Banks who have endured years of litigation and delay. I am very pleased that we have reached a compromise and are able to move forward with the replacement of Bonner Bridge. Secretary Tata, the Governor, and their team have done great work, and I look forward to seeing construction begin.”

Dare County Board of Commissioners Chairman Bob Woodard noted:

“This is an historic day for Dare County.

“Replacement of the Bonner Bridge will continue to provide log-term reliable, stable access to Hatteras Island, which is vital to Dare County and the State of North Carolina.

“We appreciate Governor McCrory’s leadership and thank him for traveling to Dare County to make this important announcement.

“A decision on the bridge replacement has been a long time coming and represents the culmination of a decades-long effort by NCDOT, the Dare County Board of Commissioners, and many in our community.

Commissioner Allen Burrus , who represents Hatteras Island, stated before a press conference at Oregon Inlet Mondasy, “I sure hope the agreement will be something we can all support.”

After the press conference, Burrus said the new spans at the south end of the proposed bridge will have higher clearance and be located in already deeper water, which he hoped would alleviate both recreational and commercial issues for shoaling.

Former board chairman and Bommissioner Warren Judge, who logged many hours and trips to the nation’s capital in pursuit of a solution, echoed Burrus’s sentiments about the elevated spans, the expanded width of the new spans, and his hope that the current effect of eddies on the existing span would result in an end to what he called a “sand fencing” effect in the existing channel.

Malcolm Fearing, the Divion 1 representative of the state Board of Transportationalso expressed optimism about the new agreement.

Other Dare County commissioners in attendance, including Wally Overman and Margaerette Umphlett, expressed relief at the new agreement, while taking a “wait and see” attitude relative to how the process will unfold.

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