Tuesday, June 25, 2024

CF Memorial Bridge’s eastbound lanes opening ahead of schedule

Eastbound lanes of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge will open earlier than anticipated. (Port City Daily/Shea Carver)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Eastbound lanes of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge will open earlier than anticipated, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Traffic will be able to resume using the two lanes — closed since the end of January — by the end of the day on Tuesday, March 26. According to the NCDOT, crews will begin the work at 7 p.m. to reopen lanes, a process that could take several hours.

Crews will remove barrels and change pavement markings and signage. As well, the barricades on Third Street in downtown Wilmington will be removed, so drivers can make left-hand turns at intersections crossing Queen, Church, Nun and Orange streets.

All lanes of the bridge will remain open through Azalea Festival before two westbound lanes close, slated for April 8, 7 p.m. Drivers will then be detoured to the Isabel Holmes Bridge, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and College Road or Interstate 140 to cross into Brunswick County.

NCDOT will continue to use message boards to alert drivers to the optimal route.

The lane closures are part of the NCDOT’s preservation project to replace stringers and decking on the bridge, giving it an extended life. NCDOT hired Southern Road and Bridge for $7.1 million to make the repairs.

“This has been a team effort,” Division 3 Engineer Chad Kimes said in an NCDOT press release. “I first want to thank the public for their patience. While we are not finished, I also want to congratulate and celebrate what has been accomplished by our staff, our contractors and partners.”

NCDOT asks motorists to plan ahead for the upcoming westbound closures on April 9, slated to be in effect through the end of May. The project is expected to complete ahead of Memorial Day.

“If they need to leave minutes earlier, go ahead and start thinking about that,” Trevor Carroll, NCDOT maintenance engineer for division 3, told PCD last week. “We found that the driver response and the staggered travel time really helped us on the eastbound closure so we’re really asking for that same thing again for our westbound closure.”

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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