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Why not make the Cape Fear Memorial and Isabel Holmes one-way bridges?

Brian Freskos
StarNews

This question was a head-scratcher, even for transportation officials.

But Trevor Carroll, a division bridge maintenance engineer with the N.C. Department of Transportation in the southeast region, said an issue that automatically came to mind was how having one-way bridges would delay emergency vehicles’ crossing the Cape Fear River.

There would have to be several feasibility studies completed before transportation officials would consider altering traffic patterns on the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge and the Isabel Holmes Bridge — the two bridges that connect New Hanover and Brunswick counties, Carroll said.

“It seems like a good idea on the surface, but a lot of studies would have to be done,” he said, adding his personal belief is that the current traffic pattern is probably the best fit.

Related links:

Before the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge was constructed, how did travelers cross the Cape Fear River into Wilmington?

How many times per week is the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge opened?

How often do both bridges connecting Wilmington and Leland shut down at the same time?

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4 Responses to “ Why not make the Cape Fear Memorial and Isabel Holmes one-way bridges?”

  1. On January 5, 2011 at 7:32 pm Wayne wrote:

    To me, the question should be “why” rather than “why not”? If there are any compelling reasons to make the bridges one way, I’d be interested in hearing them.

  2. On January 6, 2011 at 10:56 am justin wrote:

    If in-bound traffic coming towards Wilmington was all one-way over the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, how would that be a problem for emergency responders coming from Brunswick and Columbus counties? That would actually be a benefit.

    And Wilmington’s downtown EMS office is closer to the Isabel Holmes Bridge than the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge….again, not a problem for EMS units responding from New Hanover towards Brunswick County.

    If the Cape Fear Bridge was designated for out-bound (leaving Wilmington) traffic only, then you have to look at those numbers -: how many times a month does Brunswick and Columbus County EMS units transport “emergency” cases over the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge towards New Hanover Regional? Don’t those counties have their own emergency trauma centers?

    Sure, emergency cases from northern Brunswick County would still need to access New Hanover County via the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge – so what do the rescue squads do now when the bridge is up, or when there’s a huge pile up on the span of the bridge? They simply go around.

    Surely Mr. Carroll and the folks at DMV haven’t thought this through…

  3. On January 6, 2011 at 1:59 pm Bridge Driver wrote:

    What would happen if there was an incident on one of the bridges? There would be no alternative because the other bridge would be traveling the opposite direction. With more accidents on the Memorial Bridge than on the causeway, the long delay incidents would triple or quadruple in number…..
    Seems like a very bad idea!

  4. On January 6, 2011 at 4:08 pm Gary P. wrote:

    Ambulances from Brunswick and Pender county transport several patients a day to NHRMS. Removing that from the equation, there is nothing wrong with the idea of 2 one way bridges, but the current roads leading to and from the bridges could never handle 100% of outbound or inbound traffic. Even though near the bridges roads would have twice as many lanes in one direction, eventually all that one way traffic would have to blend into our currents streets. So if the Isabella Holmes is the bridge to Brunswick County, imagine all the BC commuters aiming for that bridge at 5pm. 3rd Street along with any other avenue leading to the Isabella Holmes or MLK Parkway would be a mess. It’s an interesting idea, but many things are not as simple as we might like to assume.



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