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Wilmington Bridges Getting Major Repairs

By Rachel Lewis Hilburn

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/whqr/local-whqr-980076.mp3

08-01-11 – One contract worth $4.7 million should cover major repairs on the two bridges in and out of downtown Wilmington: The Cape Fear Memorial Bridge and the Isabel Holmes Bridge. As WHQR's Rachel Lewis Hilburn reports, the repair work is being managed under one contract so that the work is closely coordinated.

The state Department of Transportation will not allow both bridges to be closed at the same time, nor will it permit lane closures during peak traffic hours.

Crews will replace the cables that lift the Memorial Bridge when it opens - and the live load bearings - which the bridge rests on when it's closed.

Amanda Glynn, Wilmington Division Bridge Program Manager, says it's about time.

"The cables are the original cables from when the bridge was first opened in 1969. They have been cleaned before but this is first total replacement since that time."

Glynn says the work will require each bridge to be closed for two weekends.

"We're talking about two weekend closures from 11 pm on a Friday night through Monday morning at 5 am. We have not yet selected those weekends. That will be selected once the project actually starts beginning December 1st."

The DOT also plans a complete mechanical and electrical renovation of the Isabel Holmes Bridge.

Check out North Carolina DOT's travel information.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? If so, we'd like to hear from you. Please email the WHQR News Team.