Oak Island bridge reopens ahead of schedule


OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — After months of construction, the Oak Island bridge has reopened three days ahead of schedule.

The G.V. Barbee Bridge reopened to traffic around noon today.

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The NCDOT closed the bridge in October for repairs. It was scheduled to open Monday. The DOT said traffic will initially be in a temporary pattern as additional work is needed. It is expected to be in in its final pattern by mid-May.

The temporary pattern will allow crews to complete work under the structure and on the bridge railing. While the bridge is open to vehicles, pedestrian access will remain closed until all work is complete.

“Even with all of the inclement weather North Carolina experienced over the past six months, we are very pleased crews were able to get the bridge open to traffic ahead of schedule,” Division Engineer Karen Collette said. “We can’t thank everyone in Oak Island enough for being patient during this time.”

During the six-month closure, crews removed and replaced 28 of the 65 spans of the existing bridge, placed a new overlay on the bridge deck, installed a new two-bar metal rail, and did concrete repairs beneath the bridge. This work cost $14.6 million.

Part of the contract with Sloan Construction included incentive clauses. It could earn an additional $150,000 for having the bridge open by April 15, and another $5,000 a day for each day the bridge opened prior to that date.

We will have more tonight on WWAY NEWS.