- Associated Press - Thursday, May 12, 2016

MANTEO, N.C. (AP) - The first piling has been installed for the foundation of the new Bonner Bridge across Oregon Inlet on the Outer Banks.

Local media outlets report that the first of more than 670 pilings was put in place this week. The work began five years after the state awarded contract to build the almost 3-mile bridge that helps connect Hatteras Island to the mainland.

Lawsuits over environmental issues held up the work. Legal differences were resolved last year clearing the way for work on the almost $250 million project.

Construction is expected to be completed in 2019.

The bridge will have stainless steel reinforcement rods in the concrete and is expected to be more durable in the harsh coastal environment and is expected to last 100 years.

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