On the Atlantic Coast's Most Dangerous Channel, a Firm Foundation Protects the Marc Basnight Bridge
The most challenging marine foundations project in North Carolina’s history. That’s what faced the engineers who designed the new Marc Basnight Bridge on the Outer Banks.
Built across what’s widely acknowledged as the most dangerous channel on the Atlantic coast, the new $252 million bridge needed to stand up to treacherous currents, constantly shifting bathymetry and violent storms. In addition, nearly the entire project site is considered environmentally sensitive in one manner or another.
To conquer the dangerous Oregon Inlet, our engineers used first-of-their-kind design and construction methods in placing the concrete piles that support the 2.8-mile bridge. The final design capitalizes on the extensive use of repetitive, precast concrete structural elements to improve constructability, quality and durability — key criteria in such a harsh marine environment.
Opened to traffic in February 2019, the bridge is capable of resisting wind, wave and vessel collision forces from the worst storms the Atlantic Ocean offers, all while subject to unprecedented scour depths.
Senior Geotechnical Engineers Mike Batten and Elizabeth Howey and Senior HDR Bridge Engineers Domenic Coletti and Dominick Amico wrote about the challenges they faced in creating a bridge designed to last 100 years.
Read the article in Deep Foundations Magazine's September-October edition.