Reopening of Baum bridge westbound lanes announced

Published 2:02 pm Monday, April 22, 2024

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The much-anticipated reopening of the westbound lanes of the Washington Baum Bridge has been set.

“Outer Banks motorists can expect a much smoother ride between Nags Head and Manteo this summer as the westbound lanes of the Washington Baum (Pirate’s Cove) Bridge on U.S. 64 reopen to traffic on Friday,” stated a Monday afternoon news release from the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Beginning Monday night, April 22, 2024, traffic will be switched to both outside lanes as workers make final preparations for a compete traffic shift by Friday afternoon.

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The lanes have been closed since mid-September as part of a $21.3 million bridge rehabilitation project designed to improve rideability and extend the bridge’s lifespan. While closed, the westbound bridge deck underwent concrete repairs and resurfacing, correcting the bumpy surface on the bridge in the past, noted NCDOT.

“Concrete barriers will remain in the center of the bridge, and the speed limit will remain at 45 mph. Additional traffic enforcement will continue in the area via the HAWKS (Helping All Work Zones Keep Safe) program. HAWKS is a joint initiative between NCDOT and North Carolina State Highway Patrol to use off-duty law enforcement officers to monitor and patrol work zones,” stated the release.

All four lanes of the bridge will remain open through September 16, when the eastbound lanes will close and undergo similar resurfacing efforts. In the meantime, work on the underside of the bridge will continue.

The project is expected to be complete in the fall of 2025.