Hatteras Island, N.C. (WTKR) – The North Carolina Department of Transportation says emergency repairs to the Bonner Bridge are continuing.
The bridge is the only highway link to Hatteras Island and was closed for twelve days in early December 2013 over safety concerns.
NCDOT officials said scouring, or erosion, around Bent 166, one of the southern platforms of the bridge, was so bad the bridge was unsafe for drivers.
Emergency dredging pumped sand around the pilings of that platform allowing the bridge to reopen.
Jennifer Garifo, a Communications Officer for NCDOT, says as of Friday, five logs of A-Jacks have been placed around Bent 166. That represents about 50% of the ring of A-Jacks to be placed around that bent.
A-Jacks are a concrete support structure designed to help solidify the structure of the bridge.
NCDOT says most of the A-Jacks that arrived on-site in mid-December have been placed and the remaining 350 A-Jacks are set to arrive sometime next week.
Workers have also been busy placing giant sandbags in the water around the bridge to provide additional support. 46 three-foot sandbags and 45 four-foot sandbags have been placed, which is about 80% of the bags.
All of the work around Bent 166 is expected to be finished by mid-February, pending on weather and wind conditions.
NCDOT officials also tell NewsChannel 3 that they are also in the process of modifying the original contract to include additional scour protection between Bents 162 to 165.
That work would involve putting 350-400 sandbags in that area where A-Jacks had already been placed as part of another protection project.