WILMINGTON – A preservation project, to extend the life of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, will temporarily close portions of the bridge in the coming months.
Built in 1967, the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge is reaching the end of its lifecycle and must be monitored, inspected and maintained on a more frequent basis. Daily inspections of the steel vertical-lift bridge have shown the need to conduct longer-lasting improvements.
The work scheduled to begin in early 2024 will repair the moveable bridge deck.
Weather and material dependent, the eastbound lanes heading into Wilmington will close as early as Jan. 3. The westbound lanes will remain open to traffic. During this closure, those wanting to drive into Wilmington will detour to take the Isabel Holmes Bridge to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to College Road.
The bridge is scheduled to be open in both directions on April 1-7 for the Azalea Festival in downtown Wilmington.
Tentatively, on April 8, contract crews will close the westbound lanes to traffic and reopen before Memorial Day.
The contractor, Southern Road & Bridge LLC, was awarded the $7.1 million contract on Nov. 30. The department has incentivized the company to finish early, potentially earning an extra $500,000.
The N.C. Department of Transportation will continue to update the public as more information becomes available.