The Bonner Bridge and it's replacement over Oregon Inlet. The pitting and damaged concrete of the Bonner Bridge is apparent.
The Bonner Bridge and it’s replacement over Oregon Inlet. The pitting and damaged concrete of the Bonner Bridge is apparent.

We did it. We walked across Oregon Inlet on the replacement for the Bonner Bridge. And, of course, that meant we had to walk back again.

Saturday was a one time event, courtesy of NCDOT—a chance to walk or bike across the new bridge that will span Oregon Inlet. Including the walk from the parking lot to over the bridge and back, it was somewhere around 6.5 miles, which isn’t too bad at all.

Old Man Winter didn’t cooperate all that much. The wind was blowing hard north to northeast, the temperatures never quite got out of the 30s, so, yes it was cold.

And it was worth every minute of the adventure.

What the New Bridge Offers

What was very apparent in walking the bridge are the differences between this new bridge and the old Bonner. It’s a bit startling to look down on the structure of the old bridge and realize how pitted and damaged the concrete has become.

For anyone who crossed the Bonner Bridge during construction, one of the things that is most striking is how large the new bridge is. Walking across it and looking down at the Bonner, just how much larger than this new edifice is becomes even more clear.

Along with being significantly higher and much longer, it’s also wider. Because it’s wider there is room for bike paths on both sides of the road.

Speaking of bikes, there were quite a number of bikers pedaling across the bridge. they didn’t have to pedal much at all heading south. Turning around and heading north…well they did not seem to be enjoying the ride quite as much.

NCDOT has not given us an official opening date yet, although they have indicated that it will be sometime this month. Even with the bridge opening to traffic, it will be single lane as bits and pieces of the project are completed.

The official ribbon cutting is scheduled for sometime in April

There is always something interesting happening on the Outer Banks. Plan your stay with Brindley Beach Vacations to see what it’s all about.