OREGON INLET -

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has wrapped up inspections of the Bonner Bridge and has deemed the bridge in need of immediate repairs.

Officials said in a press release that steps are underway to book a contractor and begin the repair work as soon as possible.

According to the release, routine sonar scanning of the bridge identified erosion on the support structures of the bridge.

NCDOT engineers say they will closely monitor the bridge and scan it weekly to make sure it remains safe for travel until the structure can be fixed. Officials say if safety becomes an issue, the bridge will be closed.

According to the DOT, as of right now, the Bonner Bridge is open and safe for travel.

The bridge carries Highway 12 across the Oregon Inlet and is the only way traffic can travel directly between Hatteras Island and the mainland.

If the DOT was ever required to close the bridge, ferries would be used to move people and cars.

The state has already tested its emergency ramps at Stumpy Point and Rodanthe in case they're needed.