NCDOT'S plan to tear down swing bridge has some Topsail Island r - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

NCDOT'S plan to tear down swing bridge has some Topsail Island residents upset

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NCDOT'S plan to tear down swing bridge has some Topsail Island residents upset NCDOT'S plan to tear down swing bridge has some Topsail Island residents upset

PENDER COUNTY, NC - (WECT)- Plans to build a new bridge into Topsail Island have many residents upset.  

According to NCDOT, the new bridge would start at the intersection of N.C. 50/N.C. 210 with Little Kinston Road and Atkinson Point, it would then cross the Intracoastal Waterway about 1,000 feet south of the existing bridge. Once the new fixed bridge is up, the old one will be torn down.

Several residents said the bridge is a staple of the island.

"I feel like it's always been here, its just a part of the history of the island," said Jo Sands, who has lived in the area since 1996.

"It's just a quaintness that I don't think is surpassed by anything else that's here," said Dave Hettinger.

The mint green bridge has been hovering over the Intracoastal Waterway since the 1950's, turning on the hour to let boats pass by.

"It's kinda neat to watch the boats go by while you sit there," said Sands. "You see all different kinds."

"There are many fond memories here," said Hettinger. He has lived in the area for about 50 years. 

"When I was a youngster we would turn over flat bottom boats under the bridge and have Fish Frys," said Hettinger. When he heard about NCDOT's plan to tear down the swing bridge and build a new fixed bridge, he was devastated.

"It's going to change the quaintness and uniqueness and I think that would be a mistake," said Hettinger.  And he's not the only one.

"It's sad," said Sands "A majority of the people are upset it won't be here." Some say it's time for a change, and the swing bridge causes traffic problems.

"You get caught by the bridge you'll have to be there a while, you might be late for work," said John Brocks, who has lived in the area for 20 years.

"There is nothing wrong with sitting 15, 20 minutes and that's the longest I've had to wait, said Hettinger. No matter which side you stand on, the plan is already in motion and NCDOT says construction should start in 2017.

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