Surf City Bridge, North Carolina

The project replaces the existing truss swing-bridge with a 65ft vertical clearance bridge. Delivered 9 months ahead of schedule, the new bridge allows traffic to flow smoothly between the mainland and Topsail Island.

Accommodating both marine and land travel

The Surf City Bridge replaces an existing steel truss swing-span bridge that opened every hour to allow marine vessels across the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW).

The new 29-span, Surf City Bridge has a 65ft clearance to accommodate marine traffic passing below without disrupting vehicle traffic above. It eliminates long lines of traffic during peak tourist season and also includes a pedestrian walkway.

Setting the support girders

Construction of the new bridge began just south of the existing swing-span bridge in October 2016. To set the first horizontal support girders, the team worked closely with the U.S. Coast Guard to shut down traffic on the ICW. Over the meticulously planned, two-day operation, the 81-tonne girders were moved to the temporary work trestle. They were lifted safely into place by two 275-tonne cranes.


clearance to accommodate passing marine traffic

Phased delivery

Phase one was the construction of the 29-span bridge, as well as new roundabout intersections, mechanically stabilised earth walls and approaches connecting the new bridge to the existing roadways on the mainland and the island.

Phase two involved tying in the roadways and switching traffic onto the new bridge. During phase three we reduced the roads from three lanes to two and added a 10ft wide multi-use pedestrian path to the new bridge. The existing swing bridge was removed and all materials were recycled.