Down East community celebrates new state-of-the-art bridge

HARKERS ISLAND, N.C. (WITN) – A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Tuesday to celebrate the construction of a new Bridge that officials say is not only opening ahead of schedule but is also one of a kind.

The Down East community in Carteret County came out in numbers to celebrate the new Harkers Island Bridge.

The new bridge connects Harkers Island to the mainland and will open to traffic this week, which officials say is about a year ahead of schedule.

Officials say the new bridge is primarily made of carbon-fiber-reinforced steel, making it the first structure in the state to use the material. NCDOT officials say that will help keep the bridge resilient to the coastal environment.

“So this is likely the first carbon fiber bridge we’ve done in the state. Carbon fiber doesn’t erode based on the saltwater environment that we have down here in the life expectancy and so we’ll make these lifetime placement on the bridge a lot longer,” said NCDOT’s Brad McMannen.

NCDOT says the bridge has a life expectancy of at least 100 years.