Traffic should be moving across the new bridge to Oak Island by the fall. Girder related safety issues delayed work for 11 months.
In December 2008, a fatal girder accident at the bridge killed worker Jose Montalvo. Work on parts of the project not related to girders resumed in may after an investigation into the accident.
The state Department of Transportation said it moved forward cautiously rejecting two more sets of girders. Workers installed the newest girders late last year. The DOT says safety is its number one concern.
"We wish it was quicker just like the residents here do," DOT Field Support Director Ellis Powell said. "But this is the best timeline for now, we are working to try and improve that time line, but we will not sacrifice safety for speed."
The DOT says 86 percent of the work is done and the bridge should be open by late September. It also says lawsuits stemming from the 2008 accident will not have an impact on the timeline.