OAK ISLAND – The Oak Island Bridge in Brunswick County will open Friday afternoon, finishing ahead of schedule, and allowing traffic on it after months of preservation work.
Traffic will initially be in a temporary pattern as additional work is needed. It is expected to be in its final pattern by mid-May.
The temporary pattern will allow crews to complete work under the structure and on the bridge railing. While the bridge is open to vehicles, pedestrian access will remain closed until all work is complete.
Also known as the Old Bridge or the G.V. Barbee Bridge, on N.C. 133 (Long Beach Road SE) over the Intracoastal Waterway, it will once again provide better connectivity to the approximately 12,000 vehicles that use it daily from Oak Island to the mainland.
Built in 1972, the bridge had deteriorated due to its coastal environment. Sloan Construction of Duncan, SC, was hired to preserve the bridge, extending its life approximately 30 years.
“Even with all of the inclement weather North Carolina experienced over the past six months, we are very pleased crews were able to get the bridge open to traffic ahead of schedule,” Division Engineer Karen Collette said. “We can’t thank everyone in Oak Island enough for being patient during this time.”
During the six-month closure, crews removed and replaced 28 of the 65 spans of the existing bridge, placed a new overlay on the bridge deck, installed a new two-bar metal rail, and did concrete repairs beneath the bridge. This work cost $14.6 million.
Part of the contract with Sloan Construction included incentive clauses. It could earn an additional $150,000 for having the bridge open by April 15, and another $5,000 a day for each day the bridge opened prior to that date.
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