There's a new way to travel between Beaufort and Morehead City. The long awaited Gallants Channel Bridge in Beaufort is finally complete and set to partially open this weekend.
After four years of construction, the North Carolina Department of Transportation will close the Grayden Paul drawbridge Sunday morning and open two lanes on the new 65 foot, high rise bridge. Mayor of Beaufort Rhett Newton.
“There will be varying traffic patterns this weekend, from Friday to Saturday to Sunday. So we ask Carteret County residents and visitors to please pay attention to traffic patterns and drive safely.”
On Monday, the 60 year old span will be locked in the upright position for potentially the last time. NCDOT plans to remove it in June. Newton says he’s excited about how the new bridge will change the town.
“We’re going to have an opportunity to install bike paths, we’re going to have an opportunity to make the community more walkable, we’ll have an opportunity to reconnect parts of the community that have been essentially separated by Highway 70 since 1957. So we look forward to that connectivity.”
Newton says the town plans to build a community park where the Grayden Paul Bridge starts in Beaufort. The entire project, which includes the removal of the old bridge and final traffic patterns is slated for early 2019.
Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018:
- Traffic from Morehead City to Beaufort and from Beaufort to Morehead City will utilize the current Grayden Paul Bridge. The high-rise bridge will not be open until Sunday.
- Access to the Highway 70 from the east end of Beaufort near Shell Landing will be closed until this summer.
- Traffic from Beaufort heading east towards the North River and Down East areas will be rerouted onto N.C. 101 at the Live Oak Street intersection (at the BP station and ACE Hardware), and then will turn right at the intersection with the new Highway 70.
- Traffic to Beaufort from the North River and Down East areas will be rerouted onto the new Highway 70 near Olga Road. To get to Beaufort or Morehead City, all traffic on the new Highway 70 will make a left turn at the new traffic light at the intersection with N.C. 101. If proceeding to Morehead City, traffic will use the current Grayden Paul Bridge.
Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018:
· Grayden Paul Bridge will be closed to traffic on Sunday and two lanes of the Gallants Channel High-Rise Bridge will be open.
- Traffic from Morehead City to Beaufort and to points east of Beaufort will follow the new traffic patterns on Highway 70 onto the new Gallants Channel High-Rise Bridge from Radio Island. If going to Beaufort, after crossing the bridge, turn right at the intersection of Highway 101 to enter Beaufort. If going to points east of Beaufort, go straight on the new Highway 70 towards the North River and Down East areas.
- Traffic to Beaufort and Morehead City from the North River area and Down East will follow the new Highway 70 to the intersection with N.C. 101. If going to Beaufort, then turn left on Highway 101. If proceeding to Morehead City, go straight across the new Gallants Channel Bridge into Morehead City and points west.
- All traffic leaving Beaufort will need to utilize NC 101. If heading to Morehead City, North River area and Down East, traffic will utilize the new Highway 70.
Monday, Jan. 29, 2018:
- The Grayden Paul Bridge will continue to be closed to traffic and locked in an upright position.