Project Maps
Project Map

Project Map

Preferred Alternatives Map

Preferred Alternative Map

Bridge Typical Section

Bridge Typical Section

Project Alternative # 17 Visualizations

Project Alternative # 17 Visualizations

Project Fast Facts
  • Status: Projects Under Development
  • County: Pender
  • Type of Project: Bridge Replacement
  • STIP Number: B-4929
  • Estimated Cost: $26 Million
  • Property Acquisition Start: 2015
  • Construction Start Date:
Photos & Videos

3D animation video

Voice-Over PowerPoint Presentation Video

Topsail Island Bridge Replacement Logo

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

Project Highlights

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

Project History

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.

Environmental Assessment

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.

Project Timeline

Milestone Dates*
Environmental Assessment Document completed October 2011
Preferred Alternative selected Fall 2012
Finding of No Significant Impact completed January 2015
Right of way acquisition began 2015
Construction begins 2017

* Future dates are preliminary and subject to change

Project Documents


Artistic Renderings/Visualizations

Public Hearing Materials


Project Photos

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Contact Information

Trevor Carroll, P.E.
Resident Engineer
(910) 347-3488
Send a message

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.