FlickrI - Herbert C. Bonner Bridge

North Carolina's Outer Banks getting a new bridge - Existing Bonner Bridge will be demolished

North Carolina's Outer Banks are known as a haven for history buffs and beach bums alike, and there will soon be a new way to visit.

The state is building a new bridge that will connect Hatteras Island, home to the famed black-and-white-swirled Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, to the rest of the Outer Banks area, which includes Manteo, Nags Head, Rodanthe and Kitty Hawk, which was home to the Wright brothers' famous first flight.

The existing Bonner Bridge will be demolished, minus a small section that may be converted into a pier.

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, "The Herbert C. Bonner Bridge, which carries N.C. 12 over Oregon Inlet between Hatteras and Bodie islands, is well past its design life and is being replaced with a new bridge that will better withstand its coastal environment."

The new bridge is due to open to car traffic later this month. But on Saturday, February 9, pedestrians will have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to cross the bridge by foot or bike without any cars around.

The old bridge, which was named for the late North Carolina congressman Herbert C. Bonner, was built in 1963. Before that, people needing to cross the Oregon Inlet had to do so by ferry.

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