Emergency services holds meeting to discuss operations during Calabash bridge closure

SUNSET BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Brunswick County Emergency Services is making sure residents of Sunset Beach and Calabash can rest assured during a two-year bridge closure.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation was awarded a multi-million dollar contract to replace the Calabash River Bridge.

Built in 1975, the Beach Drive SW bridge spans the Calabash River.The nearly $9.6 million contract was awarded to Wilmington-based S&C Construction LLC. The contractor may begin work as early as late June and is expected to be complete with the project in fall 2025.

Though work may begin in June, the earliest the bridge would close is September 6, 2023.

During construction, the bridge will close to traffic and drivers will be detoured onto Old Georgetown Road, Season Road, Sunset Boulevard, and Shoreline Drive.

Emergency personnel from the county, Sunset Beach, and Calabash held a meeting on Wednesday to share Emergency Operations Plans while the bridge is closed.

The Sunset Beach Fire Department will expand its jurisdiction to serve additional residents on the Sunset Beach side of the bridge, rather than Calabash Fire Department utilizing the detour to respond to emergencies, to ensure response times are as quick as possible.

Ambulances may go through the Sea Trail neighborhood to save time. Additionally, staff will receive more training so more treatment and triage can take place on the way to the hospital.

In life or death situations, ambulances may call on the helicopters to airlift patients to get them to the hospital faster.

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