At the beginning of May, the N.C. Department of Transportation announced the new bridge spanning the Cape Fear River in Elizabethtown is open to all traffic, and the old bridge is closed.
Kenneth L. Clark, PE, District Engineer with Division of Highways, North Carolina Department of Transportation stated in an email to Bladen County Officials, “We will be having a single-lane closure on May 31, 2023, from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm to move the river gauge from the old bridge structure to the new bridge structure. This river gauge is used by the NC Flood Mapping group to monitor the Cape Fear River at Elizabethtown. Times delays in each travel direction will only be about 15 minutes.”
NCDOT reiterated what Clark stated in a press. Weather permitting, drivers can expect the one-lane pattern to be in place from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. May 31. Drivers should expect delays in each travel direction to be about 15 minutes, and drivers should be cautious traveling through the work zone. The temporary lane reduction will require flagging operations on the two-lane bridge, which is necessary for workers to detach the river gauge from the old bridge and re-install it onto the new bridge. The gauge is used by state and federal agencies to monitor the river level.
An N.C. Department of Transportation contractor is constructing the new bridge alongside the old one.
When completed next spring, the new bridge will have four lanes.
Drivers should be alert for the new traffic pattern and aware of any crossovers being used.
Construction began on the new bridge in 2020 after NCDOT awarded a $23.3 million contract.