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Cape Fear Memorial Bridge Lanes to Open Ahead of Schedule


WILMINGTON – All lanes of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge are scheduled to be open to traffic ahead of schedule, before a popular festival begins in Wilmington.

The eastbound lanes of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge are scheduled to open March 26. While work to reopen the lanes is anticipated to start at 7 p.m., it is important to note this process will take several hours to ensure drivers and crews are safe. Crews will need to remove barrels and change pavement markings and signage. 

On the same night, the barricades on 3rd Street will be removed, allowing drivers to turn left.

"This has been a team effort," Division 3 Engineer Chad Kimes said. "I first want to thank the public for their patience. While we are not finished, I also want to congratulate and celebrate what has been accomplished by our staff, our contractors and partners."

The N.C. Department of Transportation contractor remained on schedule after closing the eastbound lanes for the past two months to replace the grid deck and the support beams, known as stringers. To learn more about the preservation project, visit the project webpage:

Azalea Festival in Wilmington

The Azalea Festival will take place April 3-7 at various times and locations in Wilmington. While all lanes of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge will be open, some traffic patterns will be different to accommodate the thousands attending the festival. 

The intersection of Airlie and Military Cutoff roads will be closed for the Garden Party between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on April 5. 

The next day, from 9:30-11 a.m., the Azalea Festival Parade will take place, closing a portion of North 3rd Street and several side streets.

NCDOT urges drivers to be alert and drive slowly in downtown Wilmington throughout the festival and allow extra time, as commutes may take longer than normal.

Westbound Closures to Begin in April

Once the festival is over, NCDOT’s contractor will continue with the preservation project of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge.

Work to close the westbound lanes of the bridge, from Wilmington toward Leland, is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on April 8 and take several hours to complete.

Once the westbound lanes are closed, drivers will be encouraged to take the Isabel Holmes Bridge, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and College Road or Interstate 140. NCDOT will continue to use message boards to alert drivers to the optimal route. Maps of the detour and links to DriveNC can be found here.

The westbound lanes are anticipated to reopen to traffic ahead of Memorial Day weekend.
The department will continue to provide regular updates to the public and media. 

For real-time travel information, visit or follow NCDOT on social media.​


3/26/2024 3:01 PM