It’s official: ‘Jug Handle’ Bridge opens to traffic

By on July 28, 2022

The Rodanthe ‘Jug Handle’ Bridge opened to traffic on July 28. (NCDOT)

At about 2 p.m. on July 28, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) announced the long-awaited opening of the Rodanthe ‘Jug Handle’ Bridge to traffic. Back on June 8, NCDOT reported that the opening of the bridge — expected to be imminent at the point — was being delayed due to recently installed pavement markings that did not meet NCDOT specifications for quality or reflectivity.

Here is the release.

The N.C. Department of Transportation officially opened the Rodanthe ‘Jug Handle’ Bridge to traffic today. The first southbound vehicles began moving across the structure at 11:40 a.m. on July 28. Northbound lanes were opened at 12:20 p.m.

The new 2.4-mile bridge extends over Pamlico Sound between the southern end of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and the village of Rodanthe, bypassing a section of N.C. 12 that is extremely vulnerable to ocean overwash. Construction of the $155 million project began in July of 2018.

Intermittent daytime lane closures on the bridge will still be necessary in the coming weeks, as Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative continues to connect electric, phone and internet transmission lines onto the new structure.

After the cables are attached, pavement and sandbags on the bypassed section of N.C. 12 will be removed, allowing it to return to its natural state. The road removal project is expected to be complete by the end of November.

The Rodanthe bridge is the third new bridge to be completed on N.C. 12 in the last five years. The Captain Richard Etheridge Bridge over New Inlet was completed in 2017, and the Marc Basnight Bridge over Oregon Inlet opened in 2019.





  • Bill

    The next obstacle is from the FWS Visitor Center to the Basnight Bridge.

    Thursday, Jul 28 @ 4:05 pm
  • Luminous

    LOL an **almost two-month delay** to… wait for it… get pavement markings repainted in compliance with regulations. Government in Action! Ya gotta love it!

    Sounds like the general contractor had as much trouble getting work done by licensed people as the rest of us.

    Thursday, Jul 28 @ 5:31 pm
  • Steven

    It’s irrelevant how long it took, not like it was being waited on to be able to go somewhere. Roadway is fine.

    Friday, Jul 29 @ 5:47 am
  • surf123

    Glad there was no rush as we have not needed it yet this year. Now we move onto the next bridge south of the old Bonner Bridge. It would have been optimal to have had the Bonner Bridge contractor just keep on moving south. They had the equipment and people already here.

    Friday, Jul 29 @ 9:45 am
  • Charles

    Next up, paving ANY road in the Tri Villages. Any will do….

    Friday, Jul 29 @ 12:53 pm
  • Steven

    We do not need more paving in TriVillage, just less traffic and lower speed limit, place is so dangerous.

    Saturday, Jul 30 @ 5:57 am
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