NC Transportation Board authorizes bridge work

Published 4:17 pm Monday, January 18, 2016

The NC Transportation Board on Jan. 7 authorized the rehabilitation of the Lindsay C. Warren Bridge on U.S. Highway 64 over the Alligator River, state transportation spokeswoman Jennifer Heiss said.

The work is set to commence as early as July, be completed by June 2018, and cost $9.99 million.

The project (B-5936) is to be done in off seasons to limit congestion, and the bridge may be closed entirely or limited to one lane, Heiss said.

The transportation board added the bridge work to the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) following additional appropriations by the General Assembly last September.

The STIP is a 10-year (2016-2025) State- and Federal-mandated plan that identifies the construction funding for and scheduling of transportation projects throughout the state.

The Alligator River bridge was closed to highway traffic for two weeks in April 2013 for repairs to the draw’s turning mechanism. Highway vehicles were¬†detoured over N.C. Highway 94 and U.S. Highway 264 between Columbia and Manns Harbor.

Gov. Terry Sanford opened the 2.8-mile, two-lane swingspan bridge to highway traffic on Feb. 9, 1962, fulfilling the program pioneered by Gov. Cameron Morrison (1921-25) to relieve counties of road maintenance costs and connect the county seats with hard-surfaced roads.

Lindsay Carter Warren, a Beaufort County lawyer, was the U.S. Congressman from eastern North Carolina (1925-40) and then U.S. Comptroller General (1940-54). The Comptroller General heads the Government Accountability Office.

Other bridge repair projects added to the STIP are the eastbound Wright Memorial Bridge over Currituck Sound (U.S. Highway 158) at almost $29 million and the Virginia Dare Bridge over Croatan Sound (U.S. Highway 64) at more than $2 million.