Highway 17 bridge partially open, construction errors delay full access

Published 1:14 pm Friday, June 16, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Highway 17 bridge connecting Washington and Chocowinity is partially open. Half of the bridge will be open Friday evening, June 16 for two lanes of traffic, according to a crew member. 

Representative Keith Kidwell spoke to employees with North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) about why the bridge will not fully open on Friday. Kidwell said he was told there were “some errors made in the pouring of the concrete” that needed to be fixed. 

Kidwell sent requests to NCDOT officials for all inspections, correspondence and reports related to the bridge and a full report documenting “what went wrong, who knew about it and when they knew it.” He told officials he wants to see his requests fulfilled on Tuesday, June 20. 

He continued to say that whoever is responsible for the delays will “be brought to task on it.” 

His next plan is to ensure project costs are paid by those who are responsible for the delays, not by taxpayers.

Though he’s glad “we’re getting at least half of the bridge open,” he continued to say waiting on construction to finish has been “a serious burden to the citizens of the area. It’s been a disaster for the businesses on both ends of the bridge.” 

The bridge has been closed since November 30, 2021.