37 Comments for this article

Tags: , , , ,

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The outrage continues after a failure to notify the public about closing the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge this weekend led to a Cape Fear “Carmageddon.” Today the Department of Transportation admitted to a major breakdown of communication.

Saturday’s traffic jam in downtown Wilmington and beyond left the tempers of many drivers boiling over. However with many more closures planned in the coming weeks the DOT says that drivers will just have to tap their brakes.

“There’s no blame to be placed,” NCDOT Construction Engineer Jackson Provost said. “I think the biggest thing is that the department, we had a lot of traffic to deal with, and we’re just going to have to get the word out to the public to try and avoid this area.”

When the DOT closed the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge it says it had a plan to re-route traffic to Shipyard Blvd. to College Road to MLK Parkway and to the Isabel Holmes Bridge.

“I think the biggest thing is there is just too much traffic congestion on the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge and trying to put it on the Isabel Holmes Bridge is over capacity,” Provost said. “It’s a situation that we definitely don’t want to have, but we don’t have any choice here in this matter.”

Bottlenecks along 3rd Street and on US 421 and US 74/76 quickly turned roads into parking lots; a situation the DOT says it can only live and learn from.

“We realized from this weekend that there are little bottlenecks or places where the traffic is choked down,” DOT Resident Engineer Wayne Currie said. “We’re going to look at it and see what we can do to try and get two lanes of traffic flowing throughout this detour.”

While more work is planned, engineers say this exposed an even larger need.

“Another bridge would be great, but in the meantime we’ve got two bridges, and we’re trying to keep them operational and keep traffic flowing also,” Currie said.

The bridge will be closed at overnight tonight, Tuesday and Wednesday and overnight Oct. 10 and 11. to prepare for work that will be done from 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12 through 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 15, when the bridge will be closed all weekend.

The DOT says a signed detour will direct motorists entering or leaving Wilmington on US 17 Business, US 76 East or US 421 South to use Isabel Holmes Bridge while the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge is closed.

Comment on this Story

Leave a Reply

37 Comments on "DOT admits communication failure; more bridge closures to come"

Guest 4545
2015 years 10 months ago

Why aren’t our local state reps Rabon and Goolsby et al asking NCDOT the tough questions. And where is Baseball Bill Saffo during all this. Someone should also talk to NHCSO; BCSO; WPD and NCSHP and see what they have to say. Noted LE agencies were probably told to stay away from the area it’s crowded.

2015 years 10 months ago

I’m sorry but Mr. Provost is an idiot… For one you are just now realizing there are bottlenecks?? Have you seen 421 between IHB and 74/76/17 on any workday at 5pm? Also you cut off one of two arteries west of town, and don’t publicly announce such a move… You sir are an idiot… in a economy where many good intelligent people are out of work I’m amazed you have a job… WOW!… Also I was traveling over the IHB to Leland Saturday and ILM Police were directing traffic they let about 30 vehicles go from the dowtown ramp onto the bridge then got in their cars and left leaving a cluster *&*& for the rest of us to figure out… Absolutely unacceptable…

On another note What is prohibiting the DOT from working on the CFB during night hours?? When there is far less traffic… allowing traffic to flow during the crucial hours of the day… really?? I can’t believe I have to ask this question, but Mr. Provost didn’t even know bottlenecks existed until this weekend so…

2015 years 10 months ago

So that means somebody will get a raise, a promotion and a bonus. No accountability necessary in government.

Lane Clo Shure
2015 years 10 months ago

Engineer Wayne Currie said. “We’re going to look at it and see what we can do to try and get two lanes of traffic flowing throughout this detour.”

On Nortbound 17, just before the bridge at the exit to continue north, they could have simply moved the cones over one lane to allow two lanes to continue all the way through. Instead, Hwy 133 traffic merging from the right and lane closure merging (cutting) from the left created a standstill in the right lane. There was no reason that I could see why the left lane had to be dropped as there were 2 lanes exiting right to 17/421 North.

2015 years 10 months ago

Come again …Our DOT resident engineer…This was your first nonchalant comment “We realized from this weekend that we have LITTLE bottlenecks…” Obviously you didn’t sit in any of that traffic at those “little” bottlenecks. Please explain …if you will…how any amount of traffic could be routed thru 3rd St.? Have any of our DOT engineers even looked at this situation in REAL time…It is a much greater problem that should be recognized as such and it is by no means LITTLE. Please for future reference do no t use the LITTLE word when you speak of this enormous problem. Also, in the future, contract personnel should be told that the bridge can only be closed during the USUAL closing times of 8PM to 5AM and that it should be planned accordingly. To the NCDOT constuction engineer…On the NCDOT bridge website submitted on September 25th 2012, there is no mention in those days that are listed that the cape fear memorial bridge was going to be closed all weekend SO when you make the comment that we need to get the word out to the public and to try to avoid the area….How about doing that a few weeks before you decide to just “Nonchalantly” close the bridge without notice…Some people don’t just sit and watch TV. Someone has got to be held accountable PERIOD…..If attention is not being paid to something as important as this what else is being missed. This whole situation could have been avoided if SOMEONE would have DONE THEIR JOB!!!!!!!DO IT RIGHT NEXT TIME!!!!!! Please! Time will tell if all involved are truly listening to those that they are to be serving.


Related News

13 hours ago
0 Comments for this article
Heavy rains lead to sinkholes
Read More»
Parts of Highway 133 in Brunswick County are prone to flooding. (Source: NCDOT)
1 day ago
0 Comments for this article
Part of Brunswick County highway closed due to flooding
Read More»
roads rain flooding
2 days ago
0 Comments for this article
Several roads flooded, some impassable
Read More»