Soaring girders of the Marc C Basnight Bridge.

Soaring girders of the Marc C Basnight Bridge.

The accolades are coming in for the Marc C Basnight Bridge, the replacement span for the Bonner Bridge.

The American Infrastructure magazine announced on Thursday that the Marc C Basnight Bridge was the 2020 Bridge of the Year. The bridge also won the Deep Foundation Institute’s (DFI) Outstanding Project Award  in 2019 for the innovative design and placement of the foundations for the bridge.

And those are just two of the award the bridge has received.

Opened in February of 2019, the Marc C Basnight Bridge replaced the aging Bonner Bridge. The Bonner Bridge was 25 years past its projected life at the time of the ribbon cutting.

It is difficult to say what one component of the new bridge has drawn so much attention.

It could be the 100 year projected lifespan of the bridge. Other projects have had 100 year lifespans, but it is unheard of in an environment as harsh as the Outer Banks.

Design Features of 100 Year Bridge

To achieve that 100 year mark, there were a number of design features to get it there.

A major problem with the Bonner Bridge was the scour that the Oregon Inlet created on the pilings that supported the bridge. It was so severe, that at one point the bridge was closed because the pilings were no longer attached to the ground.

The new bridge overcame that by driving the piles much deeper—part of the innovation the Deep Foundation Institute cited.

It could also be the use of segmented box girders for the bridge. Section of the bridge is actually a box with intersecting girders running throughout the interior. The result is a much lighter weight yet stronger construction. According to the experts, they are the third largest box girders used in North America.

There are also the multiple navigation spans, so that as the Oregon Inlet channel migrates, ships will still be able to sail beneath the bridge.

The Marc C Basnight Bridge is just one of many amazing things to see on the Outer Banks. Plan your visit today with Brindley Beach Vacations and discover how amazing life on a sandbar can be.