Governor McCrory visits Carteret County to view major projects in the works

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WNCT) – One project in Carteret County will soon make traveling through the area a lot easier.

The governor dropped by to see the progress on a nearly $66 million bridge project.

The new Gallants Channel bridge will be open to drivers several months ahead of the project’s deadline.The bridge will replace a drawbridge nearly six decades old since parts are no longer available to fix it.

“[It will be a] Vast improvement over the small bridge that we have,” said Governor McCrory.

The new bridge will be four lanes, which DOT says will help with traffic flow.

“I think it’s going to be a benefit than having to go through Beaufort through the existing 70 as far as the two lanes slows down, the ones that are wanting to bypass it can,” said Brad McMannen, NCDOT resident engineer.

The new bridge will also be nearly sixty feet high to allow boats and ships to pass under with ease.

Governor McCrory made a trip to the coast to see the progress so far.

“I think it’s going to have an incredible impact on the Morehead City region regarding better access by both car and boats,” said McCrory, who added, with new developments in the area, new people are looking to invest, which in turns helps the local economy.

Once the new bridge is complete, the DOT will shift traffic over. Crews will then begin to remove the old bridge.

Governor McCrory also visited the Port of Morehead City to express the need for continual dredging of our state’s ports. He said North Carolina ports support nearly 800,000 jobs across the state each year.

The Morehead City port alone rakes in more than $1.1 billion. That’s why the governor has turned to the Army Corps of Engineers for help.

“To North Carolina, commerce is important. The ports, obviously, are direct alignment to the commerce coming in and out of North Carolina and we’re committed to trying to find those solutions,” said Colonel Lander with the Corps.

The Army Corps says it will help with nearly $13 million to dredge the Beaufort Inlet. It expects to start outer bar dredging in June followed by the inner bar in August.

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