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new bonner bridge takes shape

New Bonner Bridge is an engineering marvel!

Despite the MAJOR incident last week when the builders accidentally severed power to Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, the new bridge is shaping up to be pretty spectacular. Built to last 100 years, the new Bonner Bridge towers over the original span. The lessons learned from the original bridge are being applied, and what is rising above Oregon Inlet is a remarkable engineering achievement, as Jeff Hampton writing for the Virginian Pilot reports.

The new Bonner Bridge is taking shape. Photo NCDOT.

The new Bonner Bridge is taking shape. Photo NCDOT.

“Bonner Bridge engineer Pablo Hernandez slowly motored the boat near a T-shaped structure rising almost 100 feet above Oregon Inlet.

Size matters in this unforgiving environment.

“Everything is bigger and heavier,” he said. “Nothing here is routine.”

Men and machines up top, appearing miniature, lifted into place a 100-ton segment of concrete similar in shape to a roof truss, adding another piece to the road bed.

The $250 million span 2.8 miles long is built to last a century. Engineers ran the design through more than 100,000 computer simulations of the 45 worst storms to strike the Outer Banks in the past 160 years. The models included the worst possible inlet currents, the biggest waves and highest water levels. They even accounted for a big barge slamming into its supports.”

 

Check out the rest of this story in the Virginian Pilot.

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