EMERALD ISLE — Work that had been scheduled to begin Nov. 14 to extend the life of the Emerald Isle high-rise bridge did not start as scheduled and is now set to commence Tuesday, Dec. 1, Town Manager Matt Zapp said Tuesday.
In a post on the town’s website, Mr. Zapp said the N.C. Department of Transportation said the construction-related single-lane closures on the bridge between Emerald Isle and the western Carteret County mainland are now set to occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays and between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. weekends through Thursday, Dec. 17.
There will then be a break for Christmas, and the closures will resume at some point after that and continue through March.
The work was originally scheduled to begin last month, but was delayed as an indirect result of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic hurt tourism dramatically in the early spring of this year, so the town asked NCDOT to delay the lane closures necessary for the bridge work in order to not hinder fall tourism.
The latest delay pushed the start of work past Thanksgiving, which is expected to bring many people to town despite the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
The project is intended to extend the life of the bridge, which opened in 1971. The town has opposed widening it.
Mr. Zapp urged motorists to plan ahead when driving into town from the west or leaving town heading west on Highway 58 because the lane closures will sometimes cause significant delays.
As with any large-scale construction project, schedules are subject to change, Mr. Zap said
For real-time travel information, visit DriveNC.gov or follow NCDOT on social media.
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.