NC artificial reef sites enhanced with material from Bonner Bridge
The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries has completed several artificial reef enhancement projects off the North Carolina coast in recent weeks. PRE’s Jake Anthony reports that many of the reefs were constructed from material from the old Bonner Bridge.
The 55-year-old Herbert C. Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet was demolished last year after reaching the end of its functional lifespan. With the help of the State Department of Transportation, the Division of Marine Fisheries delivered the demolition material to eight different existing artificial reef sites off the coasts of Nags Head, Pea Island, Hatteras Inlet, and Bogue Banks. The project included 68 barge loads of bridge material totaling about 80,000 tons of concrete. Artificial Reef Coordinator for the Division of Marine Fisheries Jordan Byrum says this was their largest project to date.
“The cost to recycle that, or to crush it and haul it to a landfill or something like that, it would be astronomical. Millions and millions of dollars. So disposing of that on artificial reefs you ended up saving North Carolinians millions of dollars.”
Byrum says other artificial reef projects recently completed include sites at the Wilmington Port, Wrightsville Beach, Topsail, and the Pamlico Sound Oyster Sanctuary Program. There are 69 artificial reefs up and down the coast, as well as some that are inland. The reefs provide habitat for commercial and recreational fish which, in turn, attract divers and anglers. For PRE, I’m Jake Anthony.