The Tale Behind the Tall Pine Bridge Replacement

Tall Pine bridge over Snow Goose Canal nearing completion in April.
Tall Pine bridge over Snow Goose Canal nearing completion in April.

After 55 years or so they’re finally replacing the bridges over the Southern Shores canals. Not a bad lifespan for a used bridge.

Residents and regular visitors to the Outer Banks know that the Tall Pine Bridge that spans the Snow Goose Canal is being replaced. The latest bulletin from the town of Southern Shores has the completion date of the project right on schedule in about a month.

The new bridge is a modern construct—looks like it will last at least 50 years and maybe 100. The old bridge. . . . well, it had a life before coming to Southern Shores and how it got there says a lot about David Stick who played such a pivotal role in the creation of the town.

David joined his father, Frank, in the early 1950s to market the new resort community of Southern Shores. Frank felt the beachfront properties were where the greatest potential lay. His son disagreed, viewing the soundside of the 2600 acres as ideal for year round residents.

To raise money he harvested the dogwood trees in the forest and used the money made from that to cut some roads and create canals to drain the swamp. However, after building the roads and cutting the canals there was no money left to build a bridge. Since the roads did not meet NCDOT standards, the state was not going to put a bridge in for him.

But NCDOT was replacing some bridges in Eastern North Carolina and David agreed to take the old bridges away intact. It was a classic win/win: David got the bridges he needed at the cost of moving them and the state didn’t have to pay to dispose of them.

They are getting replaced now.

For anyone coming down to the Outer Banks for the next month it’s important to know that there is no through traffic on South Dogwood in Southern Shores because the bridge over the canal is closed.

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