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Bridge signs finally give clear message, lanes closed Friday during the day

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LELAND, NC (WWAY) -- It took a couple of days, but signs warning drivers about this weekend's closure of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge finally have the right message.

After a confusing message that made some drivers think the bridge would be open during daytime hours this weekend, the signs now clearly read, "MEMORIAL BRIDGE CLOSED/FRI 8 PM TILL MON 5 AM."

The Department of Transportation said it had to wait for the contractor who owns the signs to drive down from Winston-Salem to fix the message.

The signs, though, do not warn drivers that the bridge will be closed tonight starting at 8 p.m. and ending at 5 a.m. tomorrow.

And late this afternoon, the DOT announced it will close one of two lanes in each direction on the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The DOT says while contractors worked on the bridge last night, they realized additional work is needed to be done to prepare for the weekend closure.

The DOT says the weekend closure is necessary so the contractor can finish replacing aging cables that raise and lower the bridge. There are a total of 64 cables on the bridge, 32 of which were replaced in September. The additional 32 cables will be replaced this weekend.

During the weekend closure, motorists can use the following signed detour route:
·Dawson Street to Oleander Drive to South College Road to MLK Parkway to US 17.

The department also suggests the following alternate routes:
-Motorists traveling on US 421 South: Use I-140 East to I-40 East to College Road.
-Motorists traveling on US 421 North from Carolina Beach: Use College Road to I-40 West to I-140 West.

Also, motorists traveling south or west from Carolina Beach can use the Southport-Fort Fisher ferry. Southport will add four departures at the Southport-Fort Fisher route Saturday and Sunday.

Additionally, the U.S. 17/U.S. 421 southbound left turn lane onto U.S. 74/N.C. 133/ Isabel Holmes Bridge will be closed on Saturday, Oct. 13, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and at other times as needed throughout the weekend.

Changeable messages signs and overhead message signs are being used to inform motorists about the upcoming closures and alternate routes. Motorists can also call 511 or visit www.ncdot.gov/travel to get information about the closure.

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