Dare wants your thoughts about a new name for a new bridge

By on January 11, 2019

The old, left, and the new, right. (Rob Morris)

Voice reader survey

Widget not in any sidebars

Dare County wants to know what people think about a new name for the new bridge over Oregon Inlet after Commissioner Ervin Bateman suggested this week dedicating it to former state Senate President Marc Basnight.

Bateman, a former Kitty Hawk town councilman, said at Monday’s board meeting that “the name Marc Basnight has come up many, many times.

“I can’t think of a more deserving individual than him for having a bridge named after. He’s done a lot for the county, done a lot for the town of Kitty Hawk, done a lot for the people of Dare County for the last 40-plus years as a Board of Transportation member as well as Senator.”

The board decided to put the question out to the public and revisit the idea next month. Commissioners can pass a resolution and submit it for approval by the state Board of Transportation.

Dare’s website is offering a survey and a form where you can submit ideas for names and the background of the person you would like to see honored. Check here to make a suggestion and read about the process for naming a bridge »

Up in the air is whether the process can be completed in time for the formal dedication of the bridge, which Chairman Bob Woodard said is now scheduled for March.

Commissioner Steve House suggested continuing to honor the man the old bridge is named for, Herbert C. Bonner, by naming the stretch of the span that will remain as a fishing pier after him or putting up a historical marker.

A native of Washington, N.C., Herbert Covington Bonner was a World War I veteran who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1940 until his death in 1965.

Bonner was instrumental in gaining federal approval of the bridge project to replace the ferry service that was at the time the only connection between Hatteras Island and the rest of Dare County.

Basnight served 26 years in the state Senate — the last 17 as president pro tempore — and arguably became the most politically powerful man in the state before Republicans rose to dominance in 2010. He resigned in 2011 for health reasons.

In a September Outer Banks Voice story on the new bridge, the overwhelming choice of readers’ comments was to just keep it named the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge.

The next most popular suggestion was call it the Oregon Inlet Bridge, followed closely by naming it for Basnight. Several suggestions were made to combine the Bonner and Basnight names for the bridge.

There were a number other names proposed by readers, including infamous pirate Blackbeard, actor Andy Griffith, and Toby Tillet, who operated the ferry that ran across Oregon Inlet for 25 years before the original Bonner Bridge opened.

And a few suggested giving the new span a new name, while keeping the Bonner name on the 1,000 feet of the south side that will be converted into a fishing pier, while the rest of the old bridge is demolished.





  • Tim

    No. Keep it Bonner Bridge

    Saturday, Jan 12 @ 9:44 am
  • me

    The Bad Ending Bridge. That where it ends on Pea Island that will be closed due to flooding with altering that part of land or The should of been a mile longer bridge.

    Saturday, Jan 12 @ 10:01 am
  • Manteoer

    Name it after nobody. That way there isn’t any entitlement no matter what anybody has done for anyone. Chose the location. To many possibilities of offending someone.

    Sunday, Jan 13 @ 9:04 pm
  • Bob

    Leave it alone! The new one should be the Bonner Bridge too!!

    Monday, Jan 14 @ 12:07 pm
  • Bridgey McBridgeface

    Name it after me, I invented the bridge.

    Monday, Jan 14 @ 12:26 pm
  • Carter McKay

    Why continue to honor Herbert C Bonner with a monument at taxpayer expense! Congressman Bonner supported the Southern Manifesto, which supported the continuing racial segregation of public schools!

    Why build a monument that perpetuates a racist? Name the bridge the Oregon Inlet Bridge!

    Monday, Jan 14 @ 7:19 pm
  • Stan Clough

    How about “Oregon Inlet Bridge “. I believe that it is and has always been commonly been known as “Oregon Inlet Bridge “

    Tuesday, Jan 15 @ 8:30 am
  • Nancy Spruill

    I definitely think it should be named the Marc Basnight Bridge. He has done so much for Dare County.

    Tuesday, Jan 15 @ 8:43 am
  • Faris Hess

    Just call it the Oregon Inlet Bridge – that’s what we all call it anyway

    Tuesday, Jan 15 @ 3:03 pm
  • Debbie

    Keep it simple so we can give tourists directions. It doesn’t matter what you name it, we’ll always call it the Oregon Inlet Bridge, The Manns Harbor Bridge, etc. And while Mr. Basnight certainly was an asset to the County he was well paid and was just doing his job.

    Tuesday, Jan 15 @ 4:43 pm
  • April clough vaughn

    Our family drove over the bridge only a day or two after it’s opening in….1963? (I’ll post the 8mm film version when I can make the transfer to digital … this age thing) … and although I understand the questionable naming…I would proudly say Marc Basnight. He brought more to our county in terms of respect, prosperity and transportation than any I can remember.

    Tuesday, Jan 15 @ 7:33 pm
  • Papa John

    How about the “OINC Bridge” for Oregon Inlet North Carolina?

    Wednesday, Jan 16 @ 8:43 am
  • Kit Hawker

    Call it the Marc Basnight Bridge… He’s done more for Dare County/Eastern NC than anyone! It is fitting that his contribution(s) should be memorialized with an impressive structure.

    Wednesday, Jan 16 @ 11:11 am
  • Ron

    Call it what it is ‘The Demise of Hatteras Island and the Beginning of the End of Access to Pea island’.

    Thursday, Jan 17 @ 5:48 am
  • Gene Parker

    Name it the “OBX Memorial Bridge” in honor of those who have served and are now resting in peace.

    Thursday, Jan 17 @ 3:02 pm
  • Amy phillips

    Promoting naming the bridge after Marc Basnight? In a republican controlled county and state. Not likely.

    Friday, Jan 18 @ 9:55 am
  • Tanya

    “Oregon Inlet Bridge” for sure! Everyone know this bridge by this name and always will be called this way no matter after who you name it.

    Saturday, Jan 19 @ 1:07 pm

    Name for Andy Griffith. Let’s keep politics out of it and do something fun!

    Sunday, Jan 20 @ 3:01 pm
  • Crystal

    The name Oregon Inlet Bridge would be associated with Oregon Inlet. It would be synonymous to mariners navigating our waters especially those charting Wanchese Industrial Park.

    Sunday, Jan 20 @ 6:29 pm
  • Rick Shaftan

    People who don’t live on the island shouldn’t be a part of this discussion. And those of us on the island want the Bonner Bridge name to go to the new structure.

    Friday, Jan 25 @ 7:56 am