1. < Back to Press Releases

    Balfour Beatty Joins North Carolina Department of Transportation to Commemorate Opening of Surf City Bridge

    December 17, 2018


    SURF CITY, N.C. – Balfour Beatty recently joined the N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to commemorate the official opening of the new Surf City bridge. Delivered nine months ahead of schedule, the new high-rise bridge connects the mainland of Surf City, N.C. to the popular tourist destination of Topsail Island, N.C.   
     
    The new high-level, fixed-span Surf City bridge replaces an existing 63-year-old steel truss swing-span bridge that opened every hour to allow marine vessels across the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). The new 3,700-foot, 29-span, high-level Surf City bridge has a 65-foot clearance to accommodate marine traffic below without disrupting vehicle traffic above. The new bridge will eliminate long lines of traffic during peak tourist season and provides a pedestrian walkway across the bridge.    
     
    “After 63 years of service, the bridge reached a point where it needed to be replaced,” Bobby Lewis, chief operating officer for the N.C. Department of Transportation, told a crowd gathered for the ceremony. “With local input, NCDOT decided to build a fixed-span, high-rise bridge to better meet the needs of the community now and into the future.”
     
    “We are thrilled to have completed the new bridge safely and ahead of schedule,” said Mark Johnnie, vice president and Southeast region manager for Balfour Beatty’s U.S. civils operations. “It’s rewarding to know that by finishing early, the new bridge will be ready for residents, businesses, and visitors in advance of the 2019 summer season.”
     
    Balfour Beatty began building the new bridge just south of the existing swing-span bridge in October 2016. To set the first horizontal support girders earlier this year, the team coordinated with the U.S. Coast Guard to shut down traffic on the ICW. Over the meticulously-planned, two-day operation, the Balfour Beatty team moved the 180,000-pound girders to the temporary work trestle, safely lifting them into place on the bridge with two 275-ton cranes.