Visitors to Hatteras Island in recent months may have noticed a new bridge taking form. No, it’s not the 2.8 mile long Bonner Bridge replacement over Oregon Inlet, which was completed in early 2019, but instead the 2 lane “Jug Handle” bridge, set to span the southern portion of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge over the Pamlico Sound and into Northern Rodanthe.
Aiming to minimize the impact to the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, the ocean shoreline and the community of Rodanthe while maintaining safe and reliable access, according to NCDOT, this project is considered part of phase II of the Bonner Bridge replacement project. In response to severe beach erosion on N.C. Hwy 12 caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the 2.4-mile bridge with a distinctive jug handle shape is set to be completed in late 2020 or early 2021. The other part of phase II, the Pea Island Interim Bridge, opened to traffic in November 2017, replacing the temporary metal bridge put in place after Hurricane Irene in 2011.
For updates on bridge construction, visit www.ncdot.gov/projects/nc-12-rodanthe.