Island Free Press: Jug Handle Bridge on track for early 2021 opening

Early computer simulation of Jug Handle Bridge in Rodanthe. [NCDOT]

By Joy Crist/Island Free Press
NCDOT representatives answered questions and provided an update on the Jug Handle Bridge at a well-attended community meeting in Rodanthe on Thursday night.

The 2.4-mile Jug Handle Bridge will stretch from the southern portion of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge to northern Rodanthe, and will bypass the S-Turns section of N.C. Highway 12, which is highly susceptible to breaches during storms. The new bridge – along with the Captain Richard Etheridge Bridge and the Bonner Bridge Replacement – is considered part of Phase II of the Bonner Bridge Replacement Project, and is the last remaining bridge to be built of the three individual projects.

At the meeting, Bonner Bridge Project Resident Engineer Pablo Hernandez reported that the Jug Handle Bridge is roughly 24% complete, and that construction remains on schedule.

“Right now, we are still targeting an early 2021 timeframe for completion,” said Hernandez. “This may shift, however, due to weather and other factors.”

The Thursday night meeting, which had multiple representatives from the NCDOT in attendance, began with answers to public questions that were brought up at the last informational meeting on September 25.