Project Overview and Purpose
Planning is underway to build a bridge to replace the existing swing bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway on N.C. 50/210 in Surf City.
The existing bridge – one of two bridges providing access to Topsail Island – is a steel truss swing span bridge that was built in the 1950s and is due for replacement.
The new bridge will address the existing needs:
- Provide a connecting structure between the mainland and the island with sufficient capacity allowing for emergency access, hurricane evacuation and acceptable travel times
- Improve the structural capacity of the bridge
- Provide consistency with state and local land use and transportation plans
The N.C. Department of Transportation has identified Alternative 17 as the recommended design option – referred to as the Preferred Alternative.
This option includes a high-level fixed-span bridge (2.0MB) – approximately 1,100 feet south of the existing bridge – beginning on the mainland side, just west of Atkinson Point Road, and ending on the island side at Topsail Drive (N.C. 50).
Work will also include an island tie-in – a three-legged roundabout on Topsail Island (2.7MB) – that will be located approximately 300 feet south of Roland Avenue.
The recommended bridge typical section includes:
- A 10-foot multi-use path on the north side of the bridge, separated from the travel lanes by a concrete barrier
- A 7.5-foot bicycle lane/shoulder in each direction
- A 12-foot travel lane in each direction
- A 39-foot roadway width carrying the bicycle and travel lanes, which allows for an alternate evacuation configuration for emergencies or hurricanes – two lanes off of the island, one lane onto the island
Alternative 17 skirts the southern boundary of Soundside Park (2.1MB) and will not have a negative impact on the park.
Other reasons that NCDOT identified the option as the Preferred Alternative is because it:
Results in the least number of residential and business relocations
Replaces the existing swing bridge with a 65-foot high-level fixed bridge, eliminating vehicular/vessel delays from bridge openings/closings
Has no impacts to ponds or streams and minimal wetland impacts
Was the most preferred from citizen comments
Maintains a connection to the existing central business district
Has the lowest total cost ($53.7 million), while the other alternatives are approximately 10 percent to 75 percent higher in cost
Can be built without requiring a detour bridge and without closing the existing bridge during construction
Finding of No Significant Impact approved
NCDOT and the Federal Highway Administration, in January 2015, approved a Finding of No Significant Impact (14MB) – that determined the project would not have a significant impact on the environment.
In October 2011, NCDOT and the Federal Highway Administration prepared and approved the Environmental Assessment (16.4MB) – a document that evaluates the environmental effects of the project.
|Environmental Assessment Document completed
|Preferred Alternative selected
|Finding of No Significant Impact completed
|Right of way acquisition began
* Future dates are preliminary and subject to change
Public Hearing Materials
Trevor Carroll, P.E.
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Resources for Local Property Owners
In many cases, it is inevitable that a certain amount of private property must be acquired. The displacement of homes and businesses is minimized to the extent practicable. The following brochures will answer questions about this process.