Crews are wasting no time taking down ‘Old Man Bonner’

Dismantling of the old Herbert C. Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet will take about 10 months, and crews are not wasting any time getting the work underway.

The old bridge will take between 10 and 12 months to dismantle, rather than demolish, because of the sensitive nature of the six-decades old bridge and the environment of Oregon Inlet.

“The whole thing will be dangerous, because we are compromising the structure of the bridge as we go,” N.C. Department of Transportation engineer, Pablo Hernandez, told The Charlotte Observer.

One thousand feet will remain extending from Pea Island and be converted into a public fishing pier and walkway.

The rest will be taken apart, piece-by-piece in some cases, and cleaned so the debris can be transported offshore of Oregon Inlet to become part of artificial reefs.

However, not all of “Old Man Bonner” will be removed. Rather than pull out the pilings in the marsh on the north end of the inlet, many will be cut off and remain because they can provide habitat for shellfish.

Underwater along the southern side of the bridge are a number of structures that were placed to collect sand, such as boulder, baskets of rocks and concrete shaped like giant toy jacks, over the last 50 years when sand had scoured out around the pilings.

Some of those may also have to be left behind as relics to the first permanent span of Oregon Inlet.

This story originally appeared on Read More local stories here.