By Submitted Story on March 10, 2023
Governor Roy Cooper, Federal Highway Administrator (FHWA) Shailen Bhatt and N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Secretary Eric Boyette highlighted a recent $110 million federal grant at the Alligator River Marina in Columbia during a ceremony on March 9.
This funding, announced in January, will be critical to helping the state replace the Alligator River Bridge, a span vital to residents and travelers on North Carolina’s coast.
“Strong communities require strong investments in infrastructure,” Governor Cooper said. “Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this funding will help replace the Alligator River Bridge and increase high speed internet access, making our eastern counties more accessible and strengthening North Carolina for generations to come.”
The project will replace the current Lindsay B. Warren Bridge, a two-lane, 2.8-mile swing span, with a two-lane high-rise bridge. The new bridge will be higher and wider than the current span, enabling boats and vehicular traffic to move without any interruption.
Currently, more than 4,000 boats pass through the area each year, forcing vehicle traffic to stop while the swing span opens and closes. Also, the 60-year-old swing span occasionally experiences electrical or mechanical issues that can cause the bridge to get stuck for hours or even days. If the bridge is stuck in the open position, vehicular traffic must take a detour of more than 90 miles. If it’s stuck in the closed position, maritime traffic must use the Pamlico Sound as a detour.
The new bridge is expected to cost $294 million. The funding estimate also includes the cost to install broadband between I-95 in Rocky Mount and N.C. 12 in Nags Head, an area historically underserved by internet access.
The N.C. Department of Transportation applied for the federal grant in May. The new bridge will include 65 feet of clearance over the channel and will have 8-foot shoulders and railings of 4.5 feet. The current span has one-foot shoulders and a railing of 2-feet-10 inches.
The state agency has completed the environmental document and is working on completing right of way plans and acquisition. The final bridge design is expected to be complete this fall. NCDOT expects to begin the bidding process in 2024 with construction starting later that year.
“For decades to come, this bridge will make driving and boating safer, faster and more efficient for people traveling through this area,” said N.C. Department Transportation Secretary J. Eric Boyette. “
KDH back seat reviewer
Ok. Alligator River bridge gets replaced. Yes, it is a existing structure that needs to be updated to handle the volume of vehicular traffic traversing that area.
Mid-Currituck bridge. No, it is not a existing structure. Updated(Built) to handle the volume of vehicular traffic traversing that area? You tell me.
All of Roy’s comments can be easily adapted for a statement regard the Mid-Currituck bridge.
Every Republican in the House of Representatives from North Carolina voted against the bill which granted the money…
Politics at their best. Use tax payers money to buy votes. I have contacted this governor on his website four times asking about the plans for improved internet service in this area from the 204 million dollar grants he gave out in June 2022 for this purpose and nothing has been done. He has not answered a one of them. I guess he’s above answering a lowly citizen.
Gotta love that “free” federal money