Washington Baum Bridge at Pirate’s Cove reduced to two lanes starting Monday

Washington Baum Bridge at Pirate’s Cove reduced to two lanes starting Monday

September 17th, 2023

Traffic on the U.S. 64 Washington Baum (Pirate’s Cove) Bridge between Manteo and Nags Head will be reduced to one lane in each direction beginning Monday, September 18 as part of a $21.3 million bridge rehabilitation project.

The project will improve rideability on the bridge and extend its lifespan. Work includes correcting bumps on the existing bridge deck, replacing bridge joints and bearing pads, and repairing concrete in the structure.

The work is similar to a 2013-15 project to smooth out the ride along the westbound U.S. 158 Wright Memorial Bridge between Kitty Hawk and Point Harbor.

On Sept. 18, traffic will be shifted to the outside lanes of the Washington Baum Bridge while a concrete barrier is placed in the median. Once the barrier is in place, which will take several days, the two westbound lanes of the bridge will be closed and all traffic diverted onto the two eastbound lanes. 

In addition, the speed limit on the bridge and its western approach will be reduced from 55 mph to 45 mph. Additional traffic enforcement will be on site via the HAWKS (Helping All Work Zones Keep Safe) program. HAWKS is a joint initiative between NCDOT and the North Carolina Highway Patrol to use off-duty law enforcement officers to monitor and patrol work zones.

The bridge will return to four lanes from May through September 2024. Next fall, the eastbound lanes will be closed and traffic placed on the westbound lanes while deck work continues.

The project is expected to be complete by the fall of 2025.

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