Posted on 4/16/2018

Work on Wright Memorial Bridge to End Soon

Wright Memorial Bridge looking west. Wright Memorial Bridge looking west.
All Lanes to Be Open Before Peak Season

The Wright Memorial Bridge has been in NCDOT news lately. The immediate news is that the work on the eastbound bridge—inbound—will be finished on schedule or maybe even a bit earlier than scheduled.

The scheduled reopening for the bridge is May 14.

The bridge has been closed since October for $21 million in much needed upgrades and repairs. During that time, what is normally the westbound bridge has been used for inbound and outbound traffic.

The twin spans of the Wright Memorial Bridge were completed at different times, with the first bridge completed in 1966 and the parallel span 30 years later.

The refurbishment was overdue. An October 2016 assessment rated the eastbound bridge's overall condition as poor with a sufficiency rating of 37.9. Although that is a relatively low rating, at no point in time was the bridge considered unsafe, and the 37.9 sufficiency rating is significantly better than the Bonner Bridge rating in the single digits.

All signs point to the replacement for the Bonner Bridge completed on schedule in the fall of this year.

There is other news from NCDOT about the Wright Memorial Bridge, although this news has to do with the chronic traffic backups that occur during the summer on weekends.

NCDOT has ranked the intersection of US158 and NC12 as NC12 heads north to Duck and Corolla as a priority. Priority in this case means it ranks high in projects that need to move forward. It does not mean construction is imminent.

What the actual plans are for the intersection will be is difficult to say. The notice simply ranks the project compared to other statewide priorities and assigns an approximate dollar figure.

That dollar figure is $97 million. For that amount of construction money, it is likely that a much discussed flyover for the intersection that would take northbound traffic directly to NC12, bypassing the traffic light is likely. There will certainly be other improvements as well.

Start date for the project is 2025 0r 2026.

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