WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Traffic could soon be flowing again on US 421 at the New Hanover-Pender county line.
NCDOT spokesman Andrew Barksdale says crews have been building a temporary bridge where flooding washed out the highway last month after Hurricane Florence.
The temporary bridge will carry one lane of traffic north and another south. Barksdale says crews expect the weather Wednesday to be warm and dry enough to finish striping and marking on the road before it opens to traffic.
Previously there was a 38-inch drainage pipe that moved water under the road. When flooding after Florence inundated the area, it washed the road away.
“We decided we need to invest in replacing it with a bridge, which will have higher capacity for flood water,” Barksdale told WWAY by phone this afternoon. “A bridge is a much better solution.”
In fact, Barksdale said, the DOT is investing in two bridges. One will carry two northbound lanes, while the other will have two lanes southbound.
Barksdale said design work on the bridges is wrapping up. Then the DOT will advertise for bids for construction. He said the agency hopes for construction to start by Christmas. When it does, crews will start work on one bridge. When it’s done, it will open with one lane in each direction. The temporary bridge will close to make way for the second bridge. Barksdale said the full project should be done some time in fall 2019.