Divers working to clear debris from span collapse of old Oregon Inlet bridge

Published 7:08 pm Monday, August 23, 2021

Underwater work is being done to remove parts of the old Oregon Inlet bridge.

Currently, divers are clearing debris from the span collapse that occurred April 14, 2021. Large concrete pieces and steel beams have been removed. Divers are collecting smaller pieces for removal by crane or special attachments to an excavator. The water is reported to be four to 10 feet deep.

As of Aug. 19, 2021, 48 of the original piles remain to be pulled out of the inlet along with piles from the old fender system.

Debris is barged to artificial reefs offshore. The loaded barges are still routing through Chesapeake Bay or Beaufort Inlet. Shoaling at the Oregon Inlet bar has stopped the barges from exiting the inlet.

On the new Marc Basnight Bridge over Oregon Inlet, the posted speed is now 55 miles per hour. Work on some punch list items still remains, but that work can be accomplished with single lane closures. Since it opened in 2019, the bridge speed limit has been 45 miles per hour.

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