6 Jan 2023
At long last the Lindsay C. Warren Bridge, AKA the Alligator River Bridge, will be retired. Thanks to the Federal infrastructure bill that was passed last year, the state is getting a $110 million grant to replace the aging drawbridge.
The bridge was completed in 1962, and for a 61 year old bridge that handles the volume of traffic that it does, especially in the summer, it has stood the test of time remarkably well.
But it’s obvious to anyone who uses the bridge on a regular basis that it’s in desperate need of replacement. A two lane bridge, there is almost no shoulder, something that all new bridges feature as an important safety feature. Perhaps most maddeningly, it is a drawbridge, causing unexpected delays when the center span swings open. And even worse, the drawbridge mechanism jams at times, requiring a 100 mile detour. though Elizabeth City.
Although final plans have not yet been submitted, NCDOT tentatively is calling for a 3.2 mile bridge, almost a half mile longer than the current one. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly the center span will have a 65’ vertical clearance—no draw span required, which will create a better driving experience and significantly more efficiency on the water.
Additionally there will be, two 12-foot lanes with 8-foot shoulders, and railings separating bicycle traffic from cars and trucks.
According to an email sent to the Outer Banks Voice, NCDOT Communications Officer Tim Haas NCDOT has already completed the initial design and “next will come final design, permitting and right-of-way acquisition, which we hope to have done by September. Then, we’d put the project out to bid in November, and if all goes well, construction could begin as early as January 2024.”
If that timeframe holds, the new bridge should be ready for traffic by 2026.
Great things are happening all the time on the Outer Banks. Stop by for a visit with Brindley Beach Vacations and see for yourself.