WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - The drawbridge at Wrightsville Beach will be closed overnights this week for maintenance work, but not all of the work is being done at night.
Work happening during the day is forcing many drivers to work on their patience as they wait to get across the Intracoastal waterway. The ongoing construction has caused headaches for drivers for nearly two years as the bridge has been cut from four lanes down to two.
The reason that this construction project has taken so long is because crews are doing a complete overhaul of the bridge; including new guards, electronics, painting, and a new command tower. Officials believe this work will extend the life of the bridge by more than 30 years.
Bobby Brandon, who has lived on Wrightsville Beach for nearly 40 years, says he is just ready for it all to be over.
"Traffic is always an issue at Wrightsville Beach and that's never going to change, but the bridge work has definitely put a new twist on it," Brandon said. "I'll be glad when it's over and everything is free flowing and back to normal."
The drawbridge will be closed overnights the week of March 10 through March 13 from 11 p.m. - 5 a.m.
During the day only two lanes of traffic will be permitted to pass. Wrightsville Beach Town Manager Tim Owens says extra police officers will be working to monitor traffic on the busy days.
Town leaders hope the entire construction project will be complete by the end of March.
Owens says more permanent changes to the bridge's opening schedule could be on the way. Right now the bridge goes up for commercial traffic on demand.
According to Owens, town leaders have asked DOT and the Coast Guard to change that so it only opens on the hour, every hour.
That plan would have to be approved by the North Carolina Department Of Transportation, Coast Guard, and the Wrightsville Beach Board of Alderman before any changes would be implemented.
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