It’s official: State transportation board names new bridge for Basnight

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Without discussion and by unanimous vote, the N.C. Board of Transportation on Thursday morning named the new bridge over Oregon Inlet for former state Senator Marc Basnight.

The 2.8 mile bridge, Hatteras Island’s only link by land to the rest of the state, opened to traffic last week amid public debate over what the span should be named.

The Marc Basnight Bridge replaces the old Herbert C. Bonner Bridge, named for the late congressman who led efforts for the original span to be built in the 1960s.

While Dare County Commissioners, multiple towns and a Board of Transportation committee endorsed naming it for the longest serving Senate President Pro Tem in North Carolina history, many Hatteras Island residents thought it should be named for Bonner.

The 1,000-foot section of the old bridge being retained as a fishing pier will be named for Bonner.

The resolution also rescinds the 1983 designation that named the entire length of N.C. 12 from U.S. 64 to the Ocracoke Ferry Terminal the Marc Basnight Highway.

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Kari Pugh is digital director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at kpugh@jammediallc.com