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The U.S. 64 bridge over the Alligator River has reopened after mechanical problem fixed

The U.S. 64 bridge over the Alligator River was closed Thursday because of a mechanical problem, forcing traffic to and from the west to take a lengthy detour.
The U.S. 64 bridge over the Alligator River was closed Thursday because of a mechanical problem, forcing traffic to and from the west to take a lengthy detour. NCDOT

The bridge that carries U.S. 64 over the Alligator River reopened late Thursday afternoon after being closed for several hours.

The bridge was closed after the locking mechanism on the swing-span failed to work. The swing-span appeared to be in the correct position, said N.C. Department of Transportation spokesman Tim Hass, but without the locks in place, NCDOT didn’t want to send traffic over it.

The bridge remains closed to boat traffic while crews continue to work on it.

The Lindsay C. Warren Bridge stretches nearly 3 miles across the Alligator River between Tyrrell and Dare counties. The two-lane bridge, with a swing-span near the middle to allow boats to pass through, was completed in 1962 and is considered out of date.

The bridge was closed twice last winter, for a week each time, so contractors could work on the mechanical and electrical systems on the swing-span. That work was part of a larger $16.7 million repair project that included a new epoxy surface on the deck, joint replacements and repairs to the concrete structure.

When the bridge is closed, beach-bound traffic from the Triangle detoured onto U.S. 17 at Williamston north to Elizabeth City, then on to U.S. 158 and across the Wright Memorial Bridge to Kitty Hawk. The detour adds about 34 miles to a trip to the entrance to Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

For the latest on the bridge, go to DriveNC.gov.

Richard Stradling covers transportation for The News & Observer. Planes, trains and automobiles, plus ferries, bicycles, scooters and just plain walking. Also, #census2020. He’s been a reporter or editor for 32 years, including the last 19 at The N&O. 919-829-4739, rstradling@newsobserver.com.


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