Source: News & Observer
North Carolina has received a federal grant to help replace the 60-year-old bridge that carries US 64 over the Alligator River between the Outer Banks and the rest of the state, according to the News & Observer.
The $110 million grant will be used by the Department of Transportation to build a new 3.2-mile span of the bridge that will be higher and wider than the existing one and will include 65 feet of clearance over the navigation channel, eliminating the traffic-stopping swing span that currently happens to let passing boats through. The bridge, running between Tyrrell County and the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in Dare County, is expected to cost $268 million. Construction is expected to begin in 2025.
In his announcement of the grant, Gov. Roy Cooper described the bridge as a lifeline for people traveling to and from the Outer Banks.
“It is one of the few options residents and visitors have for accessing our far eastern counties, and this bridge replacement will serve our state for decades to come,” Cooper said. “This is a great example of how President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law helps move along large projects that otherwise would be difficult to fund through traditional means.”
The new bridge will have higher railings as well as 12-foot travel lanes and, unlike the current bridge, will also include 8-foot shoulders on either side.