OAK ISLAND, NC (WECT) - The bridge connecting Oak Island and Southport reopened Friday, April 12, three days earlier than originally scheduled.
The G.V. Barbee Sr. Bridge closed in October 2018 for $14.6 million in construction repairs.
“Traffic will initially be in a temporary pattern as additional work is needed,” the N.C. DOT stated in a news release. "It is expected to be in its final pattern by mid-May.
“The temporary pattern will allow crews to complete work under the structure and on the bridge railing. While the bridge is open to vehicles, pedestrian access will remain closed until all work is complete.”
Sloan Construction, of Duncan, S.C., replaced 28 of the 65 spans of the bridge, placed a new overlay on the bridge deck, installed a new metal rail and made concrete repairs beneath the bridge.
“Even with all of the inclement weather North Carolina experienced over the past six months, we are very pleased crews were able to get the bridge open to traffic ahead of schedule,” Division Engineer Karen Collette said. “We can’t thank everyone in Oak Island enough for being patient during this time.”
Sloan Construction’s contract included incentive clauses, including $150,000 for having the bridge open by April 15, and an additional $5,000 for each day the bridge opened prior to that date.
Before the bridge closure, access to the nearby beach was two miles distance. With the bridge closure, the commute becomes approximately 20 miles.