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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Update: Topsail Bridge opening Thursday morning for property owners, Friday for renters

Wrightsville Beach and Pleasure Island are opening to residents and contractors but in Pender County, don't expect to get home just yet.

Access to beach towns around the Cape Fear region is limited, but opening to homeowners and contractors (Port City Daily/File)
Access to beach towns around the Cape Fear region is limited, but opening to homeowners and contractors. (Port City Daily/File)

Update Wednesday, 1:30 p.m. — According to Surf City Mayor Doug Medlin, the Highway 50 Swing Bridge to Topsail Island will open tomorrow morning, Thursday, September 20, at 9 a.m. for “all key cardholders.” To gain access, proper identification will be required. Long-term renters will not be allowed over the bridge until Friday morning, 9 a.m. on September 21.

“Each vehicle must have a key card to gain access. Property owners, who do not have a key card, must bring proof of ownership and a valid id. Beware that utilities may not be available to all locations. In cooperation with Pender County’s 7:00 p.m. curfew all owners must be in line no later than 7:00 p.m. to gain island access. The routine will be the same until further notice. Again, the island will be open to all property owners tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. Long Term Renters: Access will begin Friday at 9:00am. You will need a copy of your current lease and valid id,” Medlin wrote.

SOUTHEAST N.C. — As the flood waters begin to slowly recede and winds return to a slight breeze, beach towns in the Cape Fear region are ready to allow residents back onto the islands — but there are things residents and homeowners should know before heading back.

Wrightsville Beach

  • Beginning at 7 a.m. Tuesday, only residents with a tax decal on their windshields are permitted back onto the island. Property owners that do not have a tax decal must first go to the west side of the Northeast Branch Library located at 1241 Military Cut-off Road, Wilmington. At this location, you will have to purchase a tax decal to re-enter the island. You must bring some proof of residency to the Library such as a driver’s license with a Wrightsville Beach address, a water bill, utility bill, a tax bill or passport to prove that you are a property owner (bring multiple proofs of residency if possible). The cost of the re-entry pass is $30. Please bring exact change. This decal will allow you to enter the island. This center will only be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. No passes will be sold after this until the following day.
  • Business owners will be allowed back but you will need to have a pass to re-enter. If businesses need employees to return for assistance, the business owner will need to come to the Town Hall and fill out a re-entry form. This form would include:
    • The name and owner of the business
    • The contact information and address for the business
    • The name of the employee returning (Employee will need to bring ID)
  • Caretakers with a pass will be allowed back on the island. If the caretaker does not have a pass, the property owner will have to give the caretaker a letter that gives permission for that individual to inspect the property. The caretaker must first go to the west side of the Northeast Branch Library located at 1241 Military Cut-off Road, Wilmington to fill out a form and receive verification.
  • Those contractors working under the direction of a property owner for temporary emergency repairs will be able to enter the island at noon on Tuesday, September 18. Residents that need to have a contractor, roofer, electrician, insurance adjuster, or others for temporary assistance must go to the Wrightsville Beach Town Hall in person and sign those contractors in.

    Carolina Beach and Kure Beach

  • Entry at the bridge will continue to be focused on residents and property owners.
  • For business owners and residents having contractors come to do work on their property – you will be able to meet them off the island and escort them back to your property across the bridge starting at 6 a.m. with your proper identification.
  • Supplies are limited, available gasoline will be in reserve for authorized emergency vehicles so fill up when you can.  Bring supplies for food and beverage, our water is potable, but food supplies will be temporarily limited while roads to our island remain unpassable in some areas. Alcohol sales restrictions have been lifted but businesses cannot sell on premises after 8:00 pm.  Please plan to bring the supplies you need.

Topsail Island towns

  • According to Pender County, as of today the bridges will not be opened to residents until Friday – this could change.

Michael Praats can be reached at

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