The work involved building a high-level, fixed-span bridge 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).
The project also included an island tie-in – a three-legged roundabout on Topsail Island – located approximately 300 feet south of Roland Avenue.
The bridge includes:
- A 10-foot multiuse 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 the island, one lane onto the island
Alternative 17 skirts the southern boundary of Soundside Park and will not have a negative impact on the park.
NCDOT identified the option constructed as the Preferred Alternative because it:
- Resulted in the least number of residential and business relocations
- Replaced 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
- Had the lowest total cost ($53.7 million), while the other alternatives were approximately 10 percent to 75 percent higher in cost
- Could be built without requiring a detour bridge and without closing the existing bridge during construction