Rodanthe Bridge opening delayed by pavement markings

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North Carolina Construction News staff writer

The anticipated opening of the Rodanthe ‘jug handle’ Bridge in Dare County has been delayed because of a problem with pavement markings, state officials said. No new date has been announced.

Pavement markings installed earlier this week do not meet N.C. Department of Transportation specifications for quality or reflectivity, the agency said in a news release.

Flatiron, the prime contractor, after consultation with NCDOT, has decidedto seek a new subcontractor to replace the substandard markings and re-stripe the bridge and the intersections. Once a new subcontractor is in place, a better timeline on a traffic shift to the new bridge can be established.

Pavement markings are the last step in completion of the 2.4-mile bridge over Pamlico Sound. The bridge will take N.C. Highway 12 over Pamlico Sound, bypassing the south end of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and part of the road that’s often washed over by the Atlantic Ocean during storms. Construction on the project started in 2018.

In January 2017, NCDOT awarded Flatiron $145 million design-build contract to elevate a portion of N.C. 12 along a new 2.4-mile span that serves as the sole thruway for several communities along the state’s Outer Banks region.

By extending into the Pamlico Sound, the design minimizes impact to sensitive environmental areas and ocean and sound shoreline on the islands, as well as to the community of Rodanthe. In addition, the structure will improve traffic flows through Outer Banks communities, beaches, and protected areas.

When the bridge opens, N.C. 12, as previously built, will be turned over to the wildlife refuge and in Rodanthe, the former thruway will be used by travelers and tourists to access private property.

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