WILMINGTON, N.C. (WWAY) — The North Third Street Bridge in downtown Wilmington is in desperate need of repairs.
The bridge was built in 1920 and will take a year to replace, but replacing the bridge would have a major impact on of the biggest events in the Port City.
“The parade starts on this bridge,” said Stephen Coble.
Coble is the current President of the Azalea Festival. He says any construction on the North Third Street Bridge could affect the event he loves.
North Carolina Department of Transportation leaders met with the public on Thursday to talk about replacing the aging bridge.
“It is an older structure here in Wilmington. We do have quite a bit of maintenance that does take place on it frequently,” said Amanda Glynn.
Glynn is a Program Manager for the Department of Transportation. She says replacing the bridge is going to be a lengthy and expensive project.
“This project is estimated to cost a little over $3.6 million dollars and we’re hoping construction will be completed within12 months,” said Glynn.
Coble says festival leaders are thrilled that these improvements are being made, but says they want to make sure construction doesn’t greatly affect what they do.
“One of our big events is the parade that occurs on Saturday of the Azalea Festival every year and it’s in my opinion one of the best,” said Coble.
During the bridge replacement project traffic will be re-routed to use Davis Street, Fourth Street and Red Cross Street.
The project is slated to begin in May 2015.