Friends and family of the bridge worker killed Wednesday when a section of the old Bonner Bridge collapsed say the new fishing pier there should be named in his honor.
Jose Armando Maqueda Mejia, 42, of Manns Harbor, had lived in Dare County since he 1999 had been a local bridge worker since he was 20 years old.
Demolition of the old Bonner Bridge has been ongoing since the new Marc Basnight Bridge over Oregon Inlet opened in 2019. On the north end of Pea Island, about 1,000 feet of the old bridge was left intact for conversion into public walkway and fishing pier.
“… It’s only fitting for his spirit to live on – on a land mark everyone can go and remember him peacefully, not as a tragedy. Armando was a very hard worker for his family. I’m sure they would appreciate having a piece of him still with them that they could share with everyone,” the petition posted on MoveOn says.
In his obituary, Armando was described as a dedicated dad, husband, son, brother, cousin, nephew, brother-in-law, son-in-law, and friend.
“He always had a smile on his face that could light up a room and if you needed him, he would stop what he was doing to help, even if it was to give you the shirt off his back,” it reads. “He was known among many as the shrimp man and shared a love of soccer with his soccer brothers. He was always working, whether on a bridge, welding something for someone, fixing a car or building something. His void is greatly felt throughout the community.”