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Could Bonner Bridge Get A New Name?

A crane lays the final girder on the Bonner Bridge replacement project.
Jamison Padgett
PCL Construction

Dare County officials are seeking suggestions for a new name for the bridge that spans the Oregon Inlet.

The current bridge is named for Herbert C. Bonner, a U.S. Congressman from North Carolina who served from 1940 until 1965. Bonner was instrumental in getting the bridge project off the ground.

The Bonner Bridge has been a vital Outer Banks link for more than 50 years. The larger and grander replacement that parallels the old span is almost complete.

At its meeting last week, Dare County Commissioners discussed possibilities for a new name for the replacement bridge. One option presented was naming it for Marc Basnight. Basnight is the former President Pro Tem of the State Senate, and was one of the most powerful state lawmakers for decades. Basnight is from Dare County.  

A few months ago, the Outer Banks Voice sought suggestions for the new bridge. The outlet reports that keeping the Bonner Bridge name was the most popular option. Other suggestions included Andy Griffith and Blackbeard.

Time is tight for a late change. Dare County Commissioners are seeking input now, ahead of a meeting next month. A formal dedication of the new bridge is scheduled for March.

Dave DeWitt is WUNC's Feature News Editor. As an editor, reporter, and producer he's covered politics, environment, education, sports, and a wide range of other topics.
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