DOT explains downtown bridge project detour

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — DOT crews closed the bridge on 3rd Street in Downtown Wilmington for a year Monday evening.

Brian Rick, the spokesman with the DOT, said there was a delay in the closing because the crews were installing detour signs in the area.

Drivers heading into downtown from Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway will now be detoured to take the Isabel Holmes Bridge to Highway 421 South, then back over the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge.

The detour is frustrating drivers like Brian Wormeth.

“I think it stinks,” Wormeth said. “I mean they should be working on it better. For the amount of traffic that goes through here. The amount of traffic to bottleneck to Leland. Shutting that down just makes it a bigger hassle for those people who have to get to work at 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.”

Drew Short agrees that the detour will only add to the already congested Cape Fear Memorial Bridge.

“To add more people to that,” Short said. “That to me just seems crazy. It’s already a good 25 minutes just from this point. Traffic gets all the way backed up to here.”

Amanda Glynn, a division bridge program manager with the DOT says the detour is DOT policy.

“The two streets adjacent to the 3rd Street Bridge, 2nd and 4th, are currently city-maintained,” Glynn said, “And as a policy we will detour state roads onto other state roads.”

She added there were other concerns about the adjacent roads as well.

“It’s also important to note that on both 2nd and 4th streets, there are posted bridges with low weight limits,” Glynn said.

The bridge, which closed 3rd Street between Brunswick and Campbell streets, was built in the 1920s and reconstructed in the 1950s. The DOT hopes to have the bridge construction completed by April 1, 2016.

Categories: New Hanover, News

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