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SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — The Surf City Swing Bridge is one step closer to the end of its decades-long run. The NC Department of Transportation has decided where to build a new bridge to Topsail Island.

The project will replace the aging swing span bridge with a new structure the DOT says will improve traffic flow for both motorists and boaters. Federal, state and local officials met to review the remaining seven alternatives under study. After reviewing the environmental impacts and public comments associated with each alternative, Alternative 17 was selected as the location for the new bridge last month.

Alternative 17 is a fixed bridge that begins at the intersection of NC 50/NC 210 (Roland Avenue) with Little Kinston Road and Atkinson Point, heads south and crosses the Intracoastal Waterway about 1,000 feet south of the existing swing span bridge. As the new bridge crosses the Intracoastal Waterway, it arches to the south and then back north connecting to NC 50/NC 210 between Kinston Avenue and Roland Avenue.

At its highest point, the bridge is proposed to be 65 feet above the Intracoastal Waterway and will provide constant access for all boats and other vehicles. Once the new bridge is open to traffic, the existing swing span bridge will be removed.

NCDOT will continue to refine the design and explore ways to further reduce impacts. A meeting will be scheduled at a to present project details to the public. Right-of-way acquisition is scheduled to begin in 2015, with construction beginning in 2017.

Click here for more information on the Topsail Island Bridge Replacement Project

Comment on this Story

  • Buckeye Girl

    Why can’t we all just get along? Honestly, we need to respect our differences and embrace the culture of the moment. I’m born and bred NE Ohio (Buckeye Girl all the way), but I absolutely love NC. I would NEVER disrespect the fine people who are lucky enough to call beautiful Topsail Beach, Surf City and North Topsail Beach home. I consider these folks my kindred spirits and true friends. Although I’m one of those “weekly renters” and can only visit once or twice a year, I always respect and keep pristine the places that I rent and respect the beach for the beautiful place that it is. Honestly, get it together and be thankful for what you have, whether you are a native or visitor, you are truly blessed to be on this magical island.

  • Guest2020

    That kind of behavior is not limited to “small barrier islands with antiquated roads”. And the reason that Guest 10101 does not hear the people in their home, northern states being “anti-southern”, because Southerners do not go up north and complain about the way they do things and expect the natives of those states to change everything to suit them. Most Southerners just want to be left alone. Unfortunately, that is a concept that a majority of northerners just do not grasp.

  • SurfCityTom

    You don’t live on the Island and don’t have to contend with the red beaked seer suckered renters from New York & Jersey. They may be fine people when they are in their state of residency; give them a week or 2 at the beach and they make Snooki and Company look pretty tame.

    With some exceptions, they for the most part are rude; do not make their offspring behave; and they have little concept of how to drive on a small barrier island with antiquated roads.

    That sadly is reality.

  • Guest 10101

    I live on a barrier island that gets plenty of tourists during the season and yes, some of them are annoying. Some are from up North; some are from the mountainous western part of our fair state and some are from somewhere else. As a local, there are times when I find them all equally frustrating. Having grown up in the North, I sometime find myself slightly more frustrated by some of the more rural tourists who seem to just be living in their own world regardless of who’s around them; especially the ones who drive at 15MPH so they can look at what’s around them.

    My point is we’ve all got cultural biases based on where we grow up … BUT … After having lived in a bunch of places; this is the first place where I ever witnessed so much overt gratuitous cultural bias. That’s not something a community should be proud of.

    I think it’s getting old and it’s stupid. Don’t know your age but don’t perceive you as stupid. You’re participation in something like this seems to be an incongruity.

  • Guestarticulatore

    Tom, for all your huffing, puffing and bloviating you miss a key point: it is YOUR friends, neighbors and fellow “landlords” on your own precious island who are more enamored of the $$$ that “Snooki & Co.” bring than to really care about what YOU think. Hey, quick question, was that kid who broke into the surf shop and stole the skateboards from New York??

  • SurfCityTom

    I’ve been away and had not heard about any break in.

  • Guestarticulatore

    The break-in occured at the Tsunami Surf Shop during the early morning hours of last Thursday. The perpetrator entered through air conditioning duct work.

  • SurfCityTom

    would be nice.

    Could discourage some of the New Yorkers and New Jerseyites from traveling here.

  • Guest 10101

    and it’s already been pretty stupid for a long time.

    I’ve lived in NYC, as well as in two major Southern cities, as well as in the Wilmington area for significant periods of time. In NYC, I rarely ever heard an anti-Southerner remark. In the two major Southern cities, I rarely ever heard an anti-Northerner comment. Seemed like no one really gave a crap about that kind of nonsense. In the Cape Fear area, it seems like anytime something local goes wrong, someone responds with some anti-Yankee remark (hey, why blame yourself) and sometimes they’re just gratuitously thrown out for no reason at all (like yours).

    Like I said, “this is starting to get old and it’s already been pretty stupid for a long time”.

    If you really want to look dumb, you should suggest a toll both that’ll collects a toll from the locals every time they have to cross their very own bridge. Oops, sorry! You actually just did that! Wow, that’ll sure prove to some Northern tourists who’ll have to use that bridge just a couple of times just how much smarter and better you are than those icky Northerners.

    Normally, your posts are pretty cool. Why ruin a good batting average by posting crap like this?

  • Vog46

    Who would then fill up the rentals that dominate the island?
    North Carolinians? Yeah right………..


  • WWalton

    In 2008 16% of the Surf City population was below the poverty line. I’m going to say that this number hasn’t improved over the last four years considering unemployment and state of the economy.

    Now, you state you’d like to keep travelers away from the area? (Or is that just Northern travelers?) I wonder what the outcome of less tourism would do to Surf City.

    Less people to purchase items at the stores and restaurants would more than likely cause more unemployment and businesses to close. It isn’t like there’s much else going for Surf City other than tourism. But, it’s ok. As long as the homeowners have their homes who cares about people trying to make a living.

  • M

    I agree w/ Vog. This design seems to minimize the impacts to businesses, utilizes the vacant lot across from the IGA for the roundabout, and thankfully is NOT a movable bridge. We try every time we go over the swing bridge to “time” our trips, but commercial boats have priority and my family still gets “bridged” 4 or 5 times a week. Adding up the time, it is about 34 HOURS a year we spend waiting on the swing bridge.

    Hallelujah for the DOT!! Can they speed up the process and get the new bridge faster?

  • Vog46

    This looks to be an innovative design and layout using the “lay of the land” to the best advantage.

    I don’t say this too often about the DOT but nice job…………


  • SurfCityTom

    and neighbors who rent and serve aboard Camp LeJeune. For the most part O-2s or higher or E-7s and higher with families.

    They are well mannered regardless of the state of origin.

    It’s the 1 or 2 week summer renters who cause the problems.

  • SurfCityTom

    you’ve not been to the Island in many years. Please keep it that way.

    And please keep pushing your false rhetoric about the desolate island. It helps keep it the way we locals prefer it to be.

  • Guest Viewer

    Give Tom credit folks. Realistically, one can’t say there have been many license plates seen in the area from Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Nevada, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington state, Indiana, South Dakota, Idaho (etc.) “seen in the area” once again.
    Unless of course, those owners were here stationed in Camp Lejeune.

  • SurfCityTom

    they still have to find the funds for it.

  • Guesttenheimer

    …that he finally makes a post about somewhere he actually lives instead of being in everyone elses business where the politics and demographics don’t concern or affect him. Even while speaking of his own territory, he’s somewhat ignorant of the impact of tourism on N. Topsail, Surf City and Topsail Beaches. That entire island is desolate in the winter, except for the very few locals and a real estate agent or two trying to make a sale. Without the tourists from the north, the south, the west and all around elswhere, Topsail Island would be nothing more than the simple, useless sand bar full of trailers it was 50 years ago. There is your “Realistically…”.

  • christopher Cain

    Everyone has missed the point or reason for the stereotypical “tourists” being judged by locals. People moved in from other areas (mostly northern states)because they were able to buy twice the house here with much lower taxes. The island became congested during the winter whereas before, there was only congestion in the summer. To assume that transplants are doing the locals a favor by bringing their frivolous spending habits and higher tax rates, as well as selfish mentalities to a place where the people once relied on each other is a BIG JOKE. It doesn’t matter if the residents lived in trailers…..it doesn’t matter if they live in cardboard boxes. Surf City was full of folks that bartered and lived simply from the resources that were available to them. The locals are survivors…not folks that you can take advantage of easily….and you’ve never seen a group of people stick together like Surf City locals (not even Steelers fans). Not only Surf City….the rest of the North Carolina Barrier Islands also have always been immune to the effects of the national economy because of tourism. Until recently, people were able to hold out and not sell their land to an outsider out of necessity. Now, everyone is selling…. It’s cool though… we locals know that the new cycle is close. We’re due for a BIG storm and we’ll be around after that storm while transplants head back to where they came from, not understanding that it would have been better to put a trailer on that lot you bought….until you see with your own eyes that your 2 million dollar house floated down N. River inlet with the rest of ’em…. Everybody’s got an opinion….people might laugh at you (not with you)… but you’re entitled(such a funny word) to it. To conclude, even though Tom is a transplant.. he’s been here long enough to be considered local. He’s a landlubber converted to find his way along the ranks of Blackbeard’s legion. Now take your Salt Life stickers, jump on I-40, and head west. Take your money with you, we don’t need it. We can fish as long as you leave, we can farm as long as you leave… For us, we wish to neither rule or be oppressed. How can you possibly affect us, except by negatively impacting our existence. Topsail Island used to be the country’s best kept secret…… thanks big mouths.

  • tjs

    Thanks for the comment or letter about all the transplants, I agree totally, I love all the locals …I am friends with most all of them I come from near Pinehurst, NC area, but the locals are great here, except for the Northerners, some are ok, but most part they think they are doing Topsail Island a favor by being here..I make Topsail my home now and never regret it, except for the times we spent all summer here, and it was peaceful, fishing, going on the beach, NOT LIKE NOW, it is traffic, rude people, filthy language on beaches and stores, drugs everywhere, it is like all the northerners and young people want to come here and party. I miss the old days of peace on a small little town. I still find the local people old timers we call them and find a peaceful place to visit or eat. I miss the old times, but as you say..the storm will come and wash all the million dollar homes away…and the northerners will run for cover..the island is getting smaller due to growth, too much of it, and the ocean is taking over the island, a lot of people say no it isn’t I can see it..sad..


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