Aluminum railings will replace the old guardrails when the new Bonner Bridge Fishing Pier opens. Photo NCDOT

Aluminum railings will replace the old guardrails when the new Bonner Bridge Fishing Pier opens. Photo NCDOT

The old Bonner Bridge will be a fishing pier sometime this summer. When the Marc Basnight Bridge replacing the old span over Oregon Inlet was open to traffic, work began to dismantle the old bridge.

Along with dismantling the old bridge, though, plans always called for a fishing pier extending a little over 1000’ into the waters of the Inlet.

The pier will be on the south side of Oregon Inlet, on the north end of Pea Island. There used to be a catwalk under the roadbed that served as a fishing platform.

The catwalk is gone.

Instead what the NCDOT is doing is using the old 28’ wide roadbed as a pier. The section of the bridge that is now the pier is 19’ above the water.

Considerable work has already been done. Potholes in the pavement have been filled. The pavement joints have also been smoothed over. The final step is replacing the old guardrail with aluminum railing. The pier will also be handicapped accessible from the parking lot.

Why a new fishing pier

The catwalks were never a good solution to getting people out to some of the best fishing on the Outer Banks. They were narrow and cramped, forcing people to navigate around fishing gear. There were catwalks on both sides of the road, but they weren’t connected. To get from one side to the other people would often dash across the road.

But the fishing was always worth it. The strong currents from the Atlantic merging with the outflowing brackish waters of Pamlico Sound and the northern system of Outer Banks sounds, created a land everything from flounder to rockfish to sheepshead and croaker.

The remnants of Bonner Bridge is more than a fishing pier, however. The Army Corps of Engineers want it to remain in place as part of the maintenance for Oregon Inlet.

We’ll be sure to let our readers know when the pier officially opens.

When it does, it’s one more reason to visit the Outer Banks and stay a while with us at Brindley Beach Vacations.

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