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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina’s governor has declared an emergency at the Bonner Bridge, which state officials have closed because they say it’s unsafe.

Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency Thursday for the bridge and the emergency ferry terminals at Stumpy Point and Rodanthe.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety says the declaration will speed repairs because the state will not have to get the permits that it normally would. Spokeswoman Julia Jarema says it also allows the state to seek federal assistance.

The state closed the 50-year-old bridge Monday after learning the Oregon Inlet has scoured out sand around the base of supports at the southern end. The transportation department has said reopening the bridge will require fortifying the bridge’s support columns and bringing in additional sand.

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