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When the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge is closed, why do the detour signs not indicate the shortest route available? Can I post my own signs?

Patrick Gannon
StarNews

Cars sit in traffic in the northbound lanes of U.S.17 just prior to merging onto U.S.421 due to the closing of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge Wednesday, November 19, 2008. Staff Photo By Matt Born/Wilmington Star-News.

Q. When the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge is closed, why do the detour signs not indicate the shortest route available? Can I post my own signs?

When the bridge closes at night for painting, the reasonable route to Leland is to go north on Third Street through downtown, then left on the Isabel Holmes Bridge. This route is less than 1.5 miles and, in the evenings during bridge closure, takes 5 minutes.

The detour signs, if followed, lead motorists back the direction they came, east on Dawson and Oleander, then north on College Road, then finally west on the Martin Luther King Parkway. This is a 12-mile, 18-minute jaunt .

The signage – there are plenty – is deeply unfair to tourists, I’d think. Could I make my own sign to better advise motorists?

A. Wayne Currie, resident engineer with the Department of Transportation, said the detour route posted near the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge is the truck route. Because large trucks aren’t permitted on Third Street in Wilmington, they must take the long way around.

“Cars can use any route,” Currie said.

Currie didn’t really comment about whether someone could post their own signs, except to say that they would eventually be removed.

RELATED LINKS:

How much will the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge painting contractor pay for being late?

Why do they allow the bridges to be raised during rush hour?

 

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