Next phase of Causeway Project underway, traffic delays expected

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The NCDOT is beginning the next phase of the Causeway Project that could create safety concerns for drivers and construction workers. Due to that concern, officials said traffic will be stopped at times during the day to complete this next phase.

This phase will begin the process to expand the bridge on US 17/74/76 as you enter Brunswick County from Wilmington. Traffic in that area is nothing new.

“It’s aggravating. It’s aggravating everybody,” driver Mellie Ruth Simmons said.

Assistant Resident Engineer Wanda James said workers will be lowering 135-foot steel cages vertically into the ground as a foundation for the bridge.

“It’s going to cover the roadway plus the entire working area if this cage were to fall. That is what we do not want to happen,” James said.

That is why DOT officials said they must implement rolling road blocks to slow or even stop traffic for about 15 minutes during each operation.

Here’s the breakdown of times. A rolling road block is an approximate 15-minute duration:
-Eastbound: Monday thru Friday – 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
-Westbound: Monday thru Friday – 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
-Both directions: Saturday and Sunday – 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

“The critical part of these operation is that you’ve got a guy in a crane that is sitting on the ground and he has to have visual of the top of his boom at all times in order to do his job safely,” James said.

James said they will not be doing these operations during peek driving hours, but she says they need drivers to bear with them to get the project done safely.

“We’re not doing it to upset anybody and we’re not planning anything to do it. Circumstances happen and we have to make sure that we are addressing and being proactive when we do have safety issues,” James said.

Drivers like Simmons say for now, they will just have to keep being patient.

“I don’t know about everybody else but if there’s an end to it I can deal with it. I guess I will have to,” Simmons said.

Categories: Brunswick

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