Wilmington - The N.C. Department of Transportation will intermittently close the right lane in both directions of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge on U.S. 17 over the Cape Fear River between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday, March 7, through Thursday, March 17.
The closures are needed so the NCDOT Bridge Maintenance Department can perform the biannual inspection on the bridge's lift span. Unlike other bridges that rise up with two leafs, the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge lifts vertically to allow maritime vessels to pass under it. At least one lane of traffic will remain open at all times in both directions.
Although there will not be any detours for the inspection work, motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes to avoid work crews and possible congestion. Motorists are also advised to use caution while traveling in the area and to expect delays. NCDOT reminds motorists to watch signs for construction information, stay alert and obey the posted speed limit.
All bridges go through a natural deterioration or aging process, although each bridge is unique in the way it ages. Regular inspections help the department identify whether a bridge needs maintenance and repair, then schedule them accordingly. If NCDOT inspectors find a safety concern, the bridge will be repaired or closed immediately until the repairs can be made. If necessary, NCDOT will post weight restrictions on a bridge. The department will not keep a bridge open if it is determined to be unsafe. For more information on bridge inspections, including definitions of terms and how inspections work, please visit the North Carolina Bridge Information web page.
For real-time travel information at any time, visit the Traveler Services section of the NCDOT website or follow NCDOT on Twitter.