Photographer's Note

Headed North, crossing over Oregon Inlet, from Hatteras to Bodie Island. Did not realize until I got home that I was taking my life in my hands by simply driving over this bridge (much less trying to take a picture while doing so!)

Built in 1963, the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet is the only means of land access to Hatteras Island. At the time it was constructed, the estimated lifespan of the bridge was 30 years. But, the environment’s impact on the bridge and road was not fully understood at the time, and now constant beach erosion, severe weather and high volume of traffic continually forces the state to protect the integrity of the road system.

As it stands today, the Bonner Bridge has carried the entire vehicular traffic load between Hatteras Island and the rest of Dare County for almost 1 ˝ times its originally intended lifespan. Plans to replace the bridge have been in the works for more than 15 years, but environmental concerns and disagreements about replacement options have prolonged the process.

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