Coast Guard to boaters: Stay out of the Bonner Bridge demolition zone

Signs reminding boaters to stay out of the demo area are posted at the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center ramp. [Sam Walker photo]

The U.S. Coast Guard is asking all boaters to stay out of the area around the remains of the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge in Oregon Inlet while it is being dismantled.

“Vessels have been seen entering the deconstruction zone where piles are sitting just under the waterline,” said BMCM Mark DiLenge, Officer in Charge of Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet.

“Mariners need to stay outside the zone and use the navigation span until deconstruction has been completed,” DiLenge said. “These piles are not marked and are in the process of being pulled.”

The designated navigation area through the old bridge is on the left. Demo work is currently taking place south of the old navigation span. On the barge to the right is a removed support. They are cut at the water line, leaving behind pilings that have to be pulled from the bottom. [Sam Walker photo]

Workers cleared the way in April for navigation through the Oregon Inlet bridges to an area with some of the deepest water available in years.

The current navigation area is between bents 174 and 176 of the old bridge, where navigation lights are currently located on the Basnight Bridge.

Once the Bonner Bridge is completely removed by the end of the year, the main navigation area under the Basnight Bridge will be marked with permanent lighting between spans 22 and 23, under span 23, with a horizontal clearance of 275 feet.

The Basnight Bridge was built to allow more areas to navigate through the deepest water through the inlet, which is well south of the Bonner’s navigation span.

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.