ELIZABETHTOWN – After a short delay, a state Transportation Department
contractor is ready to begin closing the U.S.
701 bridge to traffic for the next phase of construction.
The contractor needed two additional days this week to test rotating the crane
and making adjustments to the stone foundation on which it sits at the Cape
Fear riverbank. It took 56 trucks to haul the crane into sections over the past
week. It now towers over 400 feet.
will close each weekday from 9-10 a.m. and from 2-3 p.m. Digital message
boards will remind the public of the closures, which are expected to last until
the last week of May.
The twice-a-day-closures will allow the 42 girders to be offloaded
onto the bridge, then hoisted onto the new bridge being built alongside the
The NCDOT and contractor have been coordinating with local emergency
officials. A sheriff's deputy will be stationed on either end of the
bridge during the closures, ready to relay any emergency needs to the
contractor to allow an ambulance or law enforcement vehicle to cross the
In addition, the town of Elizabethtown will station a fire truck on the
northside of the bridge for each closure, and town police will be providing
traffic support for key intersections that may become congested when the bridge
Construction of the $23.3 million bridge project began in the summer of 2020
with the demolition of one bridge. The 1,218-foot bridge will have four lanes
and is scheduled to be completed and opened to traffic by late spring 2024.