Could the new Surf City bridge open early?

Could the new Surf City bridge open early?

SURF CITY, NC (WECT) - There's a chance the new Surf City bridge could be completed ahead of schedule.

According to NCDOT officials, the contracted completion date for the bridge is Sept. 25, 2019. The contractor originally could earn $10,000 a day for each day the bridge is completed sooner with a maximum payout of $1 million (100 days).

NCDOT officials have increased the maximum number of days to 300 for a possible incentivized payout of $3 million.

"The contractor has demonstrated to the department that it is feasible to complete the bridge and open it to traffic sooner than the original contract limitations, at a financial cost," said NCDOT Engineer Kevin Bowen. "And the department agreed to increase the incentive opportunity for the contractor to do so."

NCDOT officials warn that the incentive does not guarantee that the bridge will open to traffic sooner, but does provide a financial reward for accomplishing the goal.

Conversely, the contractor would be penalized $10,000 for each day the project goes behind the original completion date of Sept. 25, 2019.

NCDOT officials said the cost of the incentive is offset by the savings to the department for engineering and inspection, user costs to the general public due to delays from the swing-bridge, public inconvenience, emergency service response times, obstruction of traffic, interference with business, and the cost to maintain and operate the existing swing bridge.

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