Connecting Columbia with the Outer Banks, the Alligator River Bridge will be closing for one week in March.

Now almost 60 years old, Alligator River Bridge—the Lindsay C. Warren Bridge—will be closing for a week in March. The scheduled closing is March 14-20.

We’re mentioning it now, so that our visitors coming from the west through Columbia to reach their Outer Banks vacation rental can make their travel plans for the Kelly’s St. Patricks Day Parade, which will be on Sunday, March 18 this year.

This is the second closure this year fo the aging drawbridge, and in both cases the most important repairs have been to the swing style drawbridge. According to NCDOT, the bridge opens on average 35 times a day, and the parts that move the bridge are worn out.

There are a number of alternate routes.

For most drivers the fastest route will be to take US 17 through Elizabeth City, then east on US158 to the Outer Banks, which will cross the Albemarle Sound at the Wright Memorial Bridge and Kitty Hawk.

Visitors coming from the south may find it easier to take US 264 through the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. A roundabout way, but it is a beautiful ride. That route would bypass the Alligator River Bridge and enter the Outer Banks at Manteo.

Hopefully, this round of repairs will be the last that will be needed for some time.

There has been some discussion about replacing the bridge, but at this point in time, there is no funding available.