New bridge over Oregon Inlet finally opens to traffic

By on February 25, 2019

The first cars crossed at about 12:20 p.m. (NCDOT)

Two years after construction began, the new bridge over Oregon Inlet opened to traffic shortly after noon Monday, culminating almost 30 years of planning and legal wrangling, the N.C. Department of Transportation said.

“It’s a great day for all residents and visitors to the Outer Banks,” said NCDOT Board Member Allen Moran, who represents Dare County. “This new bridge will be a critical lifeline to the people and the pristine beaches of Hatteras Island for generations to come.”

Construction began on the $252 million bridge in March of 2016.

The new bridge is 2.8 miles long and rises 90 feet above Oregon Inlet at its highest point, with 8-foot shoulders on each side. It is the first bridge in the state built with stainless reinforcing steel, which will provide extra protection against the salt water environment and last 100 years.

The new bridge replaces the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge, which was built in 1963. Demolition of the old bridge will begin soon and is scheduled to be complete by the end of the year. A 1,000-foot section of the south end of the old bridge will remain as a pedestrian walkway.

An informal Community Day event to celebrate completion of the new bridge was held Feb. 9. A more formal dedication of the bridge is being planned for April 2.

Dare County Animal Shelter

Sealed bids for completion of the Dare County Animal Shelter will be received on February 11, 2020, in the Dare County Administration Building, 954 Marshall C. Collins Drive, Manteo, NC, for 01-Fencing, 03- Concrete, 04-Masonry, 05-Metals/ Steel, 06-Casework, 07-Roofing, 07-Caulking, 08-Glass and Glazing, 08-Doors, Frames and Hardware, 08-Overhead Doors, 09-Drywall, 09-Flooring, 09-Painting, 10- Specialties, 12-Furnishings, 21-Fire Protection, 23-Mechanical & Plumbing, 26-Electrical, 31-Sitework and 32-Landscaping.

This project will be bid and awarded in accordance with North Carolina law. Sealed proposals from Contractors will be received until 1:00 p.m. All bidders must submit for prequalification by 2:00pm on 2/3/2020. Bids submitted by non-prequalified bidders will not be considered. All bids will be opened and read aloud starting at 2:00 p.m. of the bid day. Bids must be delivered in person and on the supplied Bid Form and include a bid deposit worth 5% of the total bid value. Electronic and faxed bids will NOT be accepted or reviewed. All times are local prevailing times.

Information requests concerning the project shall be submitted in writing to: Alex Palagyi of The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company via email (

Bidding material, prequalification material, and complete plans and specifications may be obtained from the Whiting-Turner Building Connected site and will be available until the bid due date. All subcontractors are responsible for emailing Alex Palagyi ( for access to the Building Connected site.

The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company and Dare County reserve the right to reject any and all bids, waive informalities and irregularities in bidding, and to accept bids which are considered to be in the best interest of the County. The Whiting Turner Contracting Company and Dare County also reserve the right to require any bidder to submit information needed to determine if said bidder is responsible within the meaning of N.C. Gen. Stat. 143-129.

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  • Hugo Lee

    Only two years to get the new Oregon Inlet Bridge one. They are still working on the Wright Memorial Bridge. Can someone please explain this dichotomy.

    Monday, Feb 25 @ 8:59 pm
  • Seal

    So the……..”Brown Nosing Crooked Politicians” bridge is finally open !!!!
    Safe travels to everyone…!!!

    Tuesday, Feb 26 @ 8:14 am

    It’s called the BONNER BRIDGE, despite what a bunch of Manteo politicians who come here for photo-ops want.

    Hatteras Island pays 25 percent of County tourist taxes and gets ZERO respect from these people. The latest example is their effort to name the bridge after a political crony.

    Tuesday, Feb 26 @ 8:21 am
  • Carter McKay

    Who cares! It’s a freaking bridge, not a cure for cancer!

    Tuesday, Feb 26 @ 9:20 pm
  • Manteoer

    Don’t name it after basnight his service isn’t important as let’s say our first responders. Name it after its location (what we’ve always called it. I driven under that bridge for over 30 years we’ve always referee to it as oi bridge.
    listen to us politicans all yall good old boys yall all know me personally!!!!!
    And let’s open the old Bridge for everyone to walk over to like we did on the new bridge.

    Wednesday, Feb 27 @ 5:07 am
  • olin hardy

    The people of Dare county should be happy this bridge is complete!

    Wednesday, Feb 27 @ 9:15 am
  • dave

    Can’t wait to drive over the Oregon Inlet Bridge!

    Thursday, Feb 28 @ 9:51 am
  • Steve

    Now the demise of Hatteras island will increase its pace..

    Friday, Mar 1 @ 5:56 am
  • olin hardy

    Really smooth ride and I feel safe!

    Saturday, Mar 2 @ 6:21 pm