Road and bridge projects buzzing along U.S. 158, N.C. 168 in Currituck

The 65-foot J.P. Knapp Bridge was the first fixed span over the Coinjock Cut of the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal since it opened in 1859. [Sam Walker photo]

Several major road and bridge rehabilitation project have moved into high gear in the last few weeks in Currituck County, while a third over Currituck Sound is nearly to the finish line.

After concentrating on work below deck, a rehabilitation project of the 33-year-old J.P. Knapp Bridge in Coinjock is now moving topside.

Contractors have been making repairs to the supports and replacing the wooden fenders under the bridge that carries U.S. 158 over the Intracoastal Waterway since last fall.

One lane in each direction is now closed over the bridge, so crews can remove a layer of the concrete road deck, pour a new, high-tech surface and replace expansion joints.

The entire $5.2 million dollar Knapp Bridge project is expected to be finished by October.

Live look at NC 168/NC 34 intersection in Sligo. [NCDOT]
Live look at NC 168/NC 34 intersection in Sligo. [NCDOT camera]
Further north, nine miles of N.C. 168 from the railroad crossing in Moyock to Currituck Courthouse is getting a new coat of asphalt in a $4.5 million project that is scheduled to be completed by the end of June.

The first layer of asphalt is currently being laid, one lane at a time, and the southbound outside lane is already finished.

The northbound outside lane will be finished Tuesday, and work will start heading south again on the inside lane.

Starting in April, a second coat of asphalt will be applied, known as open graded friction course, that will help better increase traction for vehicles and move rainwater off the roadway.

And the long-running rehabilitation of the eastbound Wright Memorial Bridge is expected to be completed by Memorial Day weekend, about five months ahead of schedule.

Crews working under the Wright Memorial Bridge in May 2018. [Sam Walker photo]
The 53-year-old bridge has received an upgraded road deck, while the bridge support structures have also been refurbished over the last two years at a cost of $21 million.

“At this point, all that’s left to do is some touch up work to pile jackets and re-pouring of the low water footings,” said NCDOT spokesperson Tim Hass.

Lane closures through the work zones are currently in place every day, except around the upcoming Easter weekend, when they will be removed from Thursday through Monday.

Starting in mid-May and running through mid-September, lane closures will only happen Monday through Thursday.

About Sam Walker 1512 Articles
Sam Walker was news director for, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, Big 94.5 WCMS and Z 92.3 from August 2011 to March 2022.