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What’s Really Going to Happen to the Surf City Swing Bridge

Construction is well underway of the high-rise bridge which will replace the iconic Surf City Swing Bridge which opened in 1955. Many locals and tourists have made suggestions as to what should happen to this 255 foot landmark, but this is what is going to happen to it.

The $54 million NC DOT contract, which was awarded to Balfour Beatty stipulates that the contractor is responsible for removing and disposing of the current structure. Trevor Carroll, the resident engineer for the DOT, said they looked into many options for what to do with the Swing Bridge. But ultimately, the structure is the responsibility of the winning contractor, Balfour Beatty. As of last week, Local Operations Manager for Balfour Beatty, Jay Boyd, says the plan is to recycle all components of the Swing Bridge, including the wooden fender system, concrete, as well as the structural steel.

This removal and recycling will happen shortly after the new bridge is open. When will that happen? See this post for the incentive details to complete the new bridge much earlier than expected.

Boyd pointed out that there is a very short window to remove the Swing Bridge if the new bridge is completed at the end of 2018 or early part of 2019. They are restricted as to when the water can be disturbed. This is due to protecting the water bottom for spawning animals for six months from April through the end of September.

In short, if the new bridge is completed late 2018 or early 2019, the Swing Bridge could be completely gone by March 31, 2019.

Do you want to preserve a memory of the Swing Bridge? Look here at beautiful artwork of the bridge by Jeff Wenzel.

Jeff Wenzel can be reached at | (910) 803-1SKY |

Jeff Wenzel is a local artist who enjoys creating unique artwork in the Topsail, NC area. His mission is to capture the beauty of God’s creation along with the handiwork of man’s God-given talents. Jeff owns and operates Above Topsail which provides custom photo and video services to individuals and businesses. His artwork can be seen on Facebook or

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New Surf City Bridge Could Be Open By Christmas 2018

Today, the North Carolina DOT announced that there is a $3 million incentive on the table for the contractor building the Surf City Replacement Bridge. Balfour Beatty won the $54 million contract and began construction in September of 2016.  The bridge is scheduled to open September 25, 2019, but the contractor will be awarded a $10,000 bonus each day that the bridge is open to traffic prior to the completion date, up to 300 days.  Speaking at the Topsail Area Kiwanis Club, Trevor Carroll of the NC DOT gave the example, “If the bridge opens on September 24, 2019, Balfour Beatty will get an extra $10,000.”  This means that the contractor has a $3 million incentive to have traffic on the bridge by Christmas of 2018.

Yes, folks, it is quite possible that this is the last tourist season that the Surf City Swing Bridge will be around.

Watch massive girders being installed.

Pictures of the current Surf City Swing Bridge.

NC DOT info on the project.

Jeff Wenzel
(910) 803-1759