Construction on Oak Island bridge delayed again

Reported by Gavin Johnson - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Construction of the new Oak Island bridge has come to a halt once again, but anticipation is still growing despite issues that have plagued the project.

Silvin Chiarizia is excited about the second Oak Island bridge that's going up only a few feet from his house, but he may have to wait for his expectations.

"It'll be an escape for people in case of a hurricane, instead of the one bridge we'll have we'll have two," said Chiarizia.  "And it'll be a short cut for anybody that's going west or east. It'll cut off about 18 miles from where here to midway road."

Several cracks on construction beams has forced construction to come to a stop, but that's just one of many safety concerns that's plagued the project.

December 2008, a construction worker was killed when a concrete girder collapsed, causing a five month delay on the project.

Oak Island Mayor Johnie Vereen is confident the bridge will be complete by December of 2009.

"They have not asked for a modification with the completion date, and it is possible talking with state officials it could be finished then," said Vereen.

He said it's frustrating when a project this size is delayed, but the delays are necessary to keep residents safe.

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