• 73°

Melvin Daniels Bridge catwalk on U.S. 64 closed to public access on north side

The N.C. Department of Transportation has removed all public access to the catwalk at the north side of the Melvin Daniels Bridge on U.S. 64, citing safety issues for both pedestrians and motorists.

The bridge, known locally as the “Little Bridge,” had become a popular spot for fishermen on the Outer Banks. However, despite the installation of a crosswalk and flashing signage, the area had become the site of numerous recent vehicle crashes.

“Safety is and will always be NCDOT’s number one priority,” said Sterling Baker, Division One engineer. “The department invested significant time and effort into trying to find a solution that would provide an acceptable amount of safety to both motorists and pedestrians. Unfortunately, no other workable solution was found.”

NCDOT has already installed fencing and signage indicating the area is closed to the public. Crews will also be removing the crosswalk and flashing signal at the site and installing “no parking” signs on the north side of the highway.

In addition, the speed limit on U.S. 64 will be reduced from 50 to 45 miles per hour from the Nags Head town limits to Whalebone Junction.

catwalk

Robert Nichols casts a crab trap on the south side of the Melvin Daniels Bridge on U.S. 64. Danielle Puleo photo

Robert Nichols, who has lived on the Outer Banks for 51 years, said he goes fishing and crabbing off the bridge almost every day.

“When the tide’s coming in, it’s [fishing] better off that side,” he noted of the north side of the bridge. “I think it sucks that they closed it.”

Jerry Jones, an Ohio resident that has been coming to fish on the Outer Banks for over 30 years, said there are pros and cons to closing the bridge. “In fairness, it’s twofold. I understand it because it was difficult to cross the street . . . but what’s going to happen is you’re still going have people cross the road and fish off the rocks.”

Jones felt that in trying to eliminate one dangerous situation, another may have been created. However, he said the decision makes sense particularly for the “peak season.”

– Danielle Puleo contributed to this report.

catwalk

Fishermen gathered on the south side of the Melvin Daniels Bridge early Thursday morning. Danielle Puleo photo

READ ABOUT MORE NEWS AND EVENTS HERE.

RECENT HEADLINES:

Dare County COVID-19 update: 77 positive cases as of Friday

Virus response, reopen fights mark N.C. legislative session

News

Dare County warns about coastal flooding and NC 12 impact

News

Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative linemen travel to Alabama to assist with Hurricane Sally damage

Crime

UPDATED: Body found in Virginia believed to be missing North Carolina man, suspect charged

Hyde

NCDOT: Bigfoot Slough dredging tentatively scheduled for next week

News

Cooper: North Carolina can elementary schools move to Plan A in October

News

ARHS reports additional COVID-19 related death in Bertie County

News

Unsettled weather visits Outer Banks

News

Four positive COVID-19 cases reported at Peak Resources

News

Additional COVID-19 related death reported in Pasquotank County

News

NC lieutenant governor: Reopen schools without mask mandate

News

Some North Carolina voters mistakenly get two absentee ballots

Currituck

Currituck County Board of Education names Lutz as superintendent

Lifestyles

Constitution Week begins Thursday

News

Split North Carolina appeals court retains two amendments

Schools

School bus driver class set in Columbia

Crime

Currituck County man sentenced in federal court for illegal gun possession

News

State and local COVID-19 updates

Hyde

Ocracoke Campground season extended through winter 2020-21

News

State relief bill funding comes to various agencies in northeastern North Carolina

Lifestyles

‘Freedman, Surfman, Heroes’ program going virtual

Business

Lowe’s offers small businesses the ‘Shark Tank’ treatment

Lifestyles

Causey urges clothes dryer safety to prevent home fires

News

Additional COVID-19 related death reported in Hertford County

Currituck

Currituck-Knotts Island ferry to resume service Wednesday