US-70 Radio Island Bridge

Morehead City, NC

The new bridge will relieve major traffic congestion and enhance the Morehead City downtown area.

“Traffic backs up for a mile or a half a mile, and that happens daily,” said Richard Stanley, Chairman of the Carteret County Transportation Committee.

The Graydon Paul bascule drawbridge was the source of this bottleneck, averaging 3,500 openings a year to allow boat traffic to pass through Gallants Channel. Built in 1957 and functionally obsolete because parts to repair the drawbridge are no longer available, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) decided to build a new bridge.

Conti is constructing the new fixed span elevated Radio Island Bridge along with a new 3.8 mile highway section of US-70 which will allow through traffic to bypass the town of Beaufort, eliminating further congestion. The elevated bridge will have a 65-foot vertical clearance to accommodate boat traffic. The project includes a reinforced concrete deck with epoxy coated rebar, concrete piles, massive post tensioned concrete bridge girders, demolition, retaining walls, sound walls and significant drainage including 72-inch reinforced concrete pipe culverts, earthwork and asphalt paving. Major coordination is needed among nearly 20 agencies such as the United States Coast Guard, United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Federal Aviation Administration.

According to NCDOT’s studies, the new bridge will have a $22 million positive economic impact for North Carolina. The project is very high profile and documented regularly by the North Carolina press. Conti is on track to complete work 9 months ahead of schedule.

Project details

Client North Carolina Department of Transportation
Value $66.5M
Status Project Completed
Key features
  • Constructed new fixed span high-rise bridge over Gallants Channel along 3.8 miles of US-70 highway
  • Accommodated maritime traffic (65-foot vertical clearance)
  • Placed 317,000 square foot concrete deck slab, placed 112,000 tons asphalt
  • Installed 4,000,000 pounds epoxy rebar and 35,000 linear feet concrete girders (45-inch to 78-inch post tensioned)
  • Drove 52,000 linear feet concrete piles
  • Installed 14,400 linear feet RCP drainage culverts (up to 72-inch)
  • Installed 36,500 square feet retaining and sound walls
  • Installed 580,000 cubic yards embankment

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