Okeefe Family Website


Construction of the New Sunset Beach, NC, Bridge

Jo O'Keefe Copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved

English Construction Company, Inc., Lynchburg, Virginia

Page 17

November 11, 2010
The Mannon C. Gore Bridge opened on November 11, 2010, at 3:10 PM. Despite a press release announcing that the new bridge would open between 8 AM and 10 AM on Friday, November 12, 2010, drivers were surprised when it opened the preceding afternoon. I was approaching on Hwy. 179 to photograph a school bus crossing the pontoon bridge for the last time when I noticed the first cars whizzing over the Intracoastal Waterway and then on the Hwy. 179 overpass. After photographing traffic entering and leaving the bridge on the mainland end, I flagged down Frank Nesmith who kindly drove me up. Unable to let me out at the crest of the bridge, he left me on the opposite end. Later strangers drove me back. My last stop was at the barricade blocking access to the old bridge that had provided access to Sunset Beach for half a century. I was in shock the whole time because three years of waiting had ground to an end, seemingly without warning. The photos on this page were taken between 3:30 and 4:30 PM.
Traffic at the mainland end of the bridge, 11/11/10
Traffic leaving the island end of bridge, 11/11/10
Traffic soon after leaving the mainland end of the bridge itself, 11/11/10
The end of an era, marked by barricades, a flashing crossing gate and red lights on the traffic signals.
Folks saying farewell to the pontoon bridge
November 12, 2010
An additional 500 feet of marsh established by removal of a section of the original causeway, one of my favorite aspects of the new bridge