Detours around drawbridge work site add time, scenery to Outer Banks trips
Posted March 30, 2013
Updated April 2, 2013
Stumpy Point, N.C. — A major bridge to the Outer Banks will close Tuesday for repairs. Actually, the Lindsay C. Warren Bridge that carries traffic on U.S. Highway 64 across the Alligator Bridge will be open. But in that position the swinging drawbridge won't be available to take visitors to Stumpy Point or Manteo.
The bridge is due for a $500,000 boost.
"Similar to jacking up your car, we're going to raise the bridge up 10 inches, then remove the center pivot assembly," said Pablo Hernandez. He is a resident engineer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation. His crew will then replace the pivot along with balance wheels, gears and shafts.
Work is due to begin at midnight Monday and finish by noon on April 14.
Construction worker James Williams, who lives just down the road from the bridge, welcomes the work but not the hassle of a 30-mile detour.
A northern route guides drivers from Williamston north on U.S. Highway 13 to U.S. Highway 17, then turns back south at U.S. Highway 158 east of Elizabeth City. The DOT said that detour adds about 30 minutes.
A detour to the south takes drivers from Columbia through Mattamuskeet National Refuge on N.C. Highway 94, then east and north on U.S. Highway 264, an estimated 60-minute drive.
When the bridge is out, Williams said, "It's traffic backed up everywhere."
Bridgekeeper Nick Nicholson will remain on the job. While vehicles will have to detour around the area, boats along the Intra-coastal Waterway will still be able to pass.
For every hour the bridge is closed past the April 14 deadline, the contractor will lose $300; if the bridge re-opens before that time, the contractor gets an additional $300.