90-Mile Detour To Outer Banks Begins

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Folks trying to enter or leave parts of North Carolina's coast now have a detour in front of them.

State transportation officials say the Alligator River Bridge in Tyrrell and Dare counties is closed through April 14.

Work crews will swing the bridge into the open position, raise it up with supports and secure both ends, then replace several mechanical parts. DOT officials say the work is necessary because bridge opens more than 500 times a month.

Boat traffic will be allowed to pass while the work is underway.

The main detour requires motorists to drive from N.C. 94 to U.S. 264 and back to U.S. 64.

Hotel employees who live and work in the areas can pick up a shuttle service at two park-and-ride locations.

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Get ready for a big detour if you plan to head to the Outer Banks next week.

The 2-point-6 mile long Alligator River Bridge in Tyrrell and Dare counties will be closed for almost two weeks starting Tuesday. That means someone traveling between Columbia and Manteo on U.S. 64 would have to take a 90-mile detour.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation says a half-million dollar renovation on the draw bridge portion of the span will force its closing until April 14th. That drawbridge opens more than 500 times a month.

"I think it's kind of dumb they are doing a road closing, you know, right when summer is about to start," said Rick Bateman of Manteo. "I mean spring break traffic is already bad and now you want to close the road for almost a month it's going to rough for people you're going to have a lot of angry folks."

The D.O.T. is working to offer public transit service for hotel employees who work at the beach but who live in Tyrrell County.