CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- Drivers trying to get to and from Pleasure Island are getting a break from traffic tie-ups. All four lanes on Snow's Cut Bridge are back open, and just in time for the summer rush.
Carolina Beach is a popular destination on a hot summer day, and now it should be a little easier for drivers to get on and off the island.
After months of traffic back-ups and congestion, the two southbound lanes on the Snow's Cut Bridge reopened Wednesday night.
"The last few weekends I have gone to soccer games for my kids, and getting back over the bridge on Saturday around 2 p.m. has been crazy, especially with the traffic backed up all the way to Monkey Junction," said Patrick Puffpaff, who owns Pop's Diner in Carolina Beach.
Puffpaff is glad to see all four lanes back up and running on the bridge. He says over the past few weeks traffic around his restaurant has been a nightmare.
"Especially around 6 p.m. when everybody comes off the beach to go out to eat, it gets backed up pretty bad all the way to Kure Beach," he said.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation recognized the concerns about Snow's Cut Bridge. That's why it decided to stop the lane closures until the fall.
"The traffic was just too heavy for two lanes to work effectively, so we decided that it was best for four lanes throughout the summer season," the DOT's Ben Hughes said.
That's good news for businesses like Pop's, which depend on the summer tourists to make ends meet.
"I see the economy getting better," Puffpaff said. "Over the last few years that I have run this place it's picked up each year, so I think it's getting better."
The DOT says crews will not be allowed to work on the northbound lanes of the bridge until after Oct. 1. In the meantime, work continues on the underside of the bridge.