NCDOT delays Emerald Isle bridge work, lane closures until November

Bridge maintenance equipment is lined up and ready to use in Emerald Isle, but the state has agreed to delay maintenance work until November. (Brad Rich photo)

EMERALD ISLE — The N.C. Department of Transportation agreed Monday to Emerald Isle’s request to delay until Sunday, Nov. 1 plans to close a lane at a time to facilitate maintenance of the B. Cameron Langston high-rise bridge between the Bogue Banks town and the western Carteret County mainland.

The work on the bridge, which started earlier in the year, had been set to resume Wednesday.

Monday afternoon, Mayor Eddie Barber said in a press release, “The unprecedented COVID-19 shutdown had a devastating effect on tourism in Emerald Isle during the spring of 2020. Fortunately, summer activity rebounded. Looking ahead, reservations indicate that the autumn shoulder season will extend through late October.

“Allowing traffic to flow freely on the N.C. 58 Bridge in Emerald Isle is critical,” the mayor added. “The willingness of NCDOT to take action will greatly assist our local businesses, residents and guests.”

NCDOT has been working on a number of projects on the bridge all year, mostly underneath, and has extended guardrail height on the bridge. All of the work was suspended during tourism season.

Emerald Isle Town Manager Matt Zapp said the state agency agreed to delay the work “after conversations with town leaders and residents.”

Specifics of the lane closures will be released as soon as possible.

The change in the schedule, Mr. Zapp said, does not as far as he knows affect closures NCDOT will impose on the two outer lanes of the high-rise bridge between Morehead City and Atlantic Beach for maintenance of that structure.

In a press release last week, NCDOT said lane closures in Atlantic Beach and Emerald Isle during the off-season “will allow contractors to continue rehab work, which extends the life of the bridge(s).

“Motorists should use caution while crews are working and allow themselves more time than normal to reach their destinations,” the release concluded.

 

Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.

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