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Hatteras Island travelers will notice the “Lego Bridge” along N.C. 12 at the north of Pea Island in Dare County is gone and a new bridge opened Wednesday.
The Pea Island Interim Bridge now open replaces the temporary metal bridge, dubbed the Lego Bridge by locals and put in place after Hurricane Irene in 2011.
Although the new bridge is in place, more work is needed. That includes the smoothing and grading of road shoulders along N.C. 12.
During the initial phase of the opening, traffic on the bridge is in a one lane, two-way pattern controlled by flaggers and temporary traffic signals.
The lane closures will allow work crews to add asphalt to the existing roadway in order to raise N.C. 12 to meet the new bridge. This one-lane pattern is expected to last three to five days.
The T.A. Loving Co. began construction of the $14.3-million bridge in March 2016. The new bridge is easier to maintain than the metal temporary bridge and will provide safe access for the area while NCDOT performs a study of permanent solutions to maintain public access to Pea Island.
After traffic is restored to its regular pattern, crews will begin the process of removing the temporary metal bridge.
That process is expected to be complete in March 2018.