NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The Cape Fear Memorial Bridge is expected to close Wednesday night as crews with the N.C. Department of Transportation conduct inspections.
Crews will be conducting the annual inspection of the aerial cables on the bridge as well as install new rubber insulating strips on the cables.
The bridge will close at 10 p.m. Wednesday and reopen at 5 a.m. Thursday.
If crews need to postpone the overnight work due to weather, they will try again Thursday night. Crews could also use that night if additional time is required to repair any damage that might be discovered during the inspection.
A signed detour will direct traffic, but motorists are advised to seek alternative routes and to anticipate needing extra time to travel in the area during those nights.
The annual inspections ensure that cables will remain functional and in good repair for the duration of their life expectancy. The rubber strips are replaced every other year.
This type of inspection is done every year, usually starting the Sunday after Labor Day. However, it was moved up a few days to accommodate work already scheduled to start on the bridge the week of Sept. 10.
Starting on Sept. 10, the bridge will be closed from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly so crews can perform electrical and mechanical repairs.
The nightly closures are expected to run through April 3, 2019.