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The Topsail Island Bridge in North Carolina is one of only two bridges linking the popular vacation island to the mainland and is the primary access road for residents of Surf City and South Topsail Beach. The existing two-lane swing span bridge, originally constructed in the 1950s, spans the Intracoastal Waterway and received a low sufficiency rating in 2006.
RS&H prepared an Environmental Assessment document and is providing planning and design services for the bridge’s replacement. The team studied impacts on the constraining physical and environmental features adjacent to the site and developed 20 alternative alignments for replacement, including an in-place replacement, a no-build option, and moving the bridge to the north or south. The team also considered two types of structures: a bascule span bridge and a high-rise span bridge. The historic bridge will be replaced with a non-movable, high-span structure.
RS&H helped coordinate public involvement throughout the planning process, including public meetings, newsletters, mailings, websites, phone hotlines, steering committee meetings, public official involvement, and stakeholder meetings. The information campaign also included community education on bridge types and corresponding aesthetics. RS&H also utilized design visualization tools as an instrumental part of this educational process.
Below is the animation of the proposed design of the new bridge.
Pender County, North Carolina
North Carolina Department of Transportation