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Memorial Bridge Paint Job Continues, Picks Up Pace

By Rachel Lewis-Hilburn

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/whqr/local-whqr-981219.mp3

Wilmington, NC – A new paint job for the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge has been in the works since early last year. And for commuters who use the bridge on a daily basis, especially those traveling after 8 PM, it's been a crap shoot as to whether the bridge will be open or closed.

But, as WHQR's Rachel Lewis Hilburn reports, state Department of Transportation officials say they hope to see the pace pick up.

Preservation work on the bridge is progressing at a faster rate - now that the contractor has committed more workers, hours, and equipment to the job.

Amanda Glynn, Division Bridge Program Manager for the state Department of Transportation in Wilmington, says commuters should soon see work progressing more quickly.

"The original completion date was September 30th, 2010. The contractor was working on another large project last year and he didn't start this project as early as he could have. So a good portion of last summer that could have been production work was lost."

Drivers can expect to find the bridge closed Sunday nights through Thursday nights - from 8 PM to 6 AM. The new completion date for the preservation project is October 31st - a hard one - according to Glynn.

"We're pushing for completion this fall on the project In any case it will not extend past the start date of December 1st for another project that's coming up on Cape Fear Memorial Bridge."

If the work isn't complete by December 1st - the start date of a structural repair project - the job will have to be put on hold.

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