There’s more bridge news coming from the Outer Banks. As we just wrote, the Mid Currituck Bridge took a giant step toward reality with the Record of Decision that was issued last week.
Almost overlooked by that announcement was word that the new span over Oregon Inlet will be named for retired State Senator Marc Basnight. The senator represented Dare County and held the post of Senate Pro Tem longer than any other senator in North Carolina history.
How the New Name Was Decided for the Oregon Bridge
The announcement came after the state transportation board voted unanimously to name the Oregon bridge after the senator.
Naming a bridge is usually a straightforward process, requiring only an unanimous vote of the government board. In this case, however, Dare County Commissioners could not reach consensus, voting 3-2 to recommend the name.
With no clear direction from local government, the decision fell to the Board of Transportation.
Although traffic is flowing across the new span, the official ribbon cutting will be April 2. Presumably at that time, the official name will be recognized.
There was no clear alternative name. There was some sentiment to continue to call the span the Bonner Bridge, honoring US Congressman Herbert C. Bonner, who represented the northeastern North Carolina and was considered an effective voice for the area.
In other Oregon bridge news, the Jug Handle project that will bypass the S Curves north of Rodanthe seems to be making good progress. Heavy equipment is in place on the north and south ends of the project area. A temporary bypass road has also been constructed on the north end.
Construction for the Oregon bridge began in the summer of last year and it looks as though the scheduled 2020 opening date is accurate.