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Construction of the New Sunset Beach, NC, Bridge

Jo O'Keefe Copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved

Page 18

March 24, 2011

Latest costs for the new Mannon C. Gore Bridge are available. Initially the estimated cost was $5.2 million. Opposition increased the cost to $29.86 million for construction. Additional costs -- preliminary engineering, design, ROW, construction administration -- have brought the total to $42,4 million.

Figures for the 1984 floating swing bridge that was saved by the Old Bridge Preservation Society are in stark contrast. The eight barges purchased from Shugart Manufacturing in Chester, South Carolina, cost $182,000. The cost of the bridge built on the barge -- ramps, roadway, tender house, engines, cables, pulleys, and counterweights -- was $130,357. The total cost was $312,357.

Sunset over the marsh photographed from the new bridge, 11/16/10
   
November 2011  
In the Spring of 2007, 1,166 bulbs of the Rain Lily, Zephyranthes simpsonii, an endangered species in North Carolina, were moved from the right of way across from Bill's Seafood, to the Brunswick County Cooperative Extension Agency. They grew there while the new bridge was built and until the season was right for transplanting them. On 11/15/11 Melissa Miller, NCDOT Environmental Biologist, supervised the relocation of the 923 lilies that survived. The bulbs were planted under the new Sunset Beach bridge in the two fenced areas closest to the Intracoastal Waterway. They were planted toward toward the outer edges of the bridge to provide maximum sunlight. The lilies will be within two to 10 feet of the fencing, protected from disturbance. I also have seen them growing along the edge of old Hwy. 179 near Oyster Bay. Photos by Melissa Miller