Wrightsville Beach Bridge Feasibility Study Meeting May 21st

Wrightsville Beach Bridge Feasibility Study Meeting May 21st

Wrightsville Beach Bridge Feasibility Study Meeting May 21st Featured

By / Local News / الثلاثاء, 14 أيار 2019 00:59

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH - The North Carolina Department of Transportation is conducting a feasibility study for replacing the C. Heide Trask Memorial Drawbridge that connects Wrightsville Beach to Wilmington.

According to Mike Kozlosky - Executive Director for the Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (WMPO) - "Drawbridge No. 12, the C. Heide Trask Memorial Bridge, which connects the City of Wilmington and the Town of Wrightsville Beach via U.S. 74 (Wrightsville Avenue) / U.S. 76 (Causeway Drive). This study also evaluates potential intersection improvements at the intersection of U.S. 74 (Salisbury Street) / U.S. 76 (Causeway Drive). The options considered in this feasibility study for the replacement of the bridge include another drawbridge and potential high-rise bridge. Attached to this e-mail please find the draft feasibility study report."
NCDOT will hold a public meeting to discuss the feasibility study on May 21st from 4:30-7:00 p.m. at the Wrightsville Beach Recreation Center located at 4 Russ Drive in Wrightsville Beach.

Kozlosky explained, "The public meeting is an opportunity for the public to provide feedback on this potential project. I would encourage you to attend this meeting and please let me know if you have any questions."

According to the study, the purpose of this project is to provide a long-term, safe, and efficient multi-modal crossing of the Intracoastal Waterway between the City of Wilmington and the Town of Wrightsville Beach. There are several needs to be addressed along the project corridor:

• Aging structure (see subsequent paragraphs for more details)
• Crash rate on US 74 / US 76 higher than the state-wide average for similar routes (see Section 2.3)
• Provision of safe and efficient pedestrian and bicycle accommodations
• Multi-modal mobility for vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists using the roadway or the bridge, and for marine traffic passing under the bridge through the Intracoastal Waterway
• Reduction of long-term maintenance costs • Provision of a hurricane evacuation route

The study states, "Drawbridge No. 12 carries US 74 / US 76 over the Intracoastal Waterway between Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach. Based on the 2015 and 2017 Bridge Inspection Reports respectively, Drawbridge No. 12 has a sufficiency rating of 39.92 and an estimated remaining life of 23 years; however, this is only after numerous major rehabilitation projects. The average annual maintenance costs over the last three years for Drawbridge No. 12 total $234,102.51. This does not include rehabilitation costs but does include the costs of operation and maintenance."

The study states that at all times during construction access to Wrightsville Beach must be maintained since it's the only bridge to the Island. That would require building a new bridge either north or south of the existing bridge and then shifting the road to connect to the new structure once completed.

Options presented in the study include building a new drawbridge or high-rise bridge. Five concepts are presented ranging in price from $69,600,000 to $122,500,000.

To learn more about the study and the proposals visit www.wmpo.org 

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