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Was the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge purchased from another state?

Ben Steelman
The Cape Fear Memorial Bridge was built in 1969. StarNews file photo

The Cape Fear Memorial Bridge was built in 1969. StarNews file photo

Q. I have heard that the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge was purchased from another state. Is this true and if so, what state was the bridge purchased from.

A. That’s partly true, according to Trevor Carroll, district maintenance engineer for the state Department of Transportation’s District 3.

Carroll said the bridge’s concrete pilings and twin elevator towers were built on site between 1965 and 1968. The truss, however, was shipped from elsewhere and was installed on site in February 1969 by the American Bridge Co., a subsidiary of US Steel.

We don’t know where the truss originated, but we’ll keep trying to find out.

The bridge opened to traffic in September 1969 and was formally dedicated on Oct. 20, 1969.

At 3,000 feet long, the bridge is no longer the longest in Southeastern North Carolina; it was surpassed by the Dan Cameron Bridge, which takes Interstate 140 over the Northeast Cape Fear River. It was completed in 2007 and stretches nearly 2 miles. (The longest bridge in North Carolina is the Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge, which stretches 5.2 miles over Croatan Sound from Manns Harbor to Roanoke Island.

The Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, however, remains the highest bridge in the state, with its span rising 135 feet to allow large ships to sail underneath.


StarNews: After 40 years, Cape Fear Memorial Bridge remains a vital access point

Did the contractors who painted the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge pay a fine for not completing the project on time?

Are pedestrians allowed to walk across the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge?


User-contributed question by:
Ronald Flynn

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