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River Road closed
River Road is closed on October 13, 2017 for six months until May and poses a problem to some drivers in the area. (Photo: Basil John/WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — For the past few years, road closed signs have been a familiar sight for drivers and people who live along River Road.

“It’s always in disrepair, it seems like. River Road was redone. I don’t know how many years ago, but it’s held up pretty good,” Polly Harris, a resident said.

But it still manages to surprised people whenever they see it.

“Today, it’s inconveniencing me. I understand that there’s work to be done but with no other detours and routes. I’m not really familiar with this area. So, I don’t know the cut through and where else I should do, other than to turn around and back track,” Emily Yopp, a driver, said.

The old bridge over Lord’s Creek on River Road is being replaced and won’t reopen until May.

“We’re replacing a bridge that was originally built in 1974. The new bridge will certainly be much further up to standards, able to handle the types of traffic that you see on the roads and bridges today,” Brian Rick, a NCDOT public relations officer, said.

With plans to add a median along Carolina Beach Road and widen South Front Street, many people in the area wonder why this construction is spread out over time.

“That’s the way they do things you know? Just like Carolina Beach road. You know you think they’re done with it and then you know, a couple months later, they do the construction again,” Jim Wilson, a driver, said.

Rick says things like proximity, the type of work, impact to the public and overall growth of the area play into why these projects are out over time. He also says there are many reasons as to why projects are schedules at specific times. The roundabout project two years ago on River Road and Sanders Road was a safety improvement project. It was pursued as soon as funding was available to improve the safety of the intersection. The bridge replacement on River Road is almost three miles away from the roundabout project. It is too far to join the projects together.

“Improvements are always welcome, you know, for everybody. We just have to have a better way of finding alternate roads,” Carl Amaral, a biker, said.

NCDOT recommends any drivers going northbound to take Carolina Beach Road to Sanders Road back to River Road. Drivers going southbound can take Sanders Road to Carolina Beach Road  to River Road.

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