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CAPE FEAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE: Updates, resources, and context

Cape Fear Memorial Bridge lanes to open ahead of schedule, on Tuesday night

Camille Mojica

All lanes of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge are scheduled to be open to traffic, roughly a week ahead of schedule. The westbound lanes are still slated to be closed after Azalea Festival, with plans to complete work before Memorial Day.

The eastbound lanes of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge heading into downtown Wilmington are scheduled to open on the evening of March 26.

That's just shy of a week ahead of the originally scheduled completion date of March 31, in time for the Azalea festival.

While work to reopen the lanes is anticipated to start at 7 p.m., it is important to note this process will take several hours to ensure drivers and crews are safe. Crews will need to remove barrels and change pavement markings and signage.

On the same night, the barricades on 3rd Street will be removed, allowing drivers to turn left.

Azalea Festival in Wilmington

The Azalea Festival will take place April 3-7 and will include some traffic changes and closures.

The intersection of Airlie and Military Cutoff roads will be closed for the Garden Party between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on April 5.

The next day, from 9:30 -11 a.m., the Azalea Festival Parade will take place, closing a portion of North 3rd Street and several side streets.

NCDOT urges drivers to be alert and drive slowly in downtown Wilmington throughout the festival and allow extra time, as commutes may take longer than normal.

Westbound Closures to Begin in April

Once the festival is over, NCDOT’s contractor will continue with the preservation project of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge.

Work on westbound lanes of the bridge, heading out of downtown Wilmington towards Leland and Brunswick County, is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on April 8.

While the westbound lanes are closed, drivers will be encouraged to take the Isabel Holmes Bridge, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and College Road, or Interstate 140. NCDOT will continue to use message boards to alert drivers to the optimal route. Maps of the detour and links to DriveNC can be found here.

The westbound lanes are anticipated to reopen to traffic ahead of Memorial Day weekend.

The department will continue to provide regular updates to the public and media.

For real-time travel information, visit DriveNC.gov or follow NCDOT on social media.