The 2.4 mile-long Jug Handle Bridge is 88% complete as of September 2, with a projected opening date of early 2022, per an early September update from the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
The southern end of bridge operations have stopped as of August 14, and the two work trestles met as of August 31, 2021.
Bridge activities continue on the north end, however, and at this time, the anticipated pile driving at the northern end of the bridge could be complete by the end of September.
Roadway work at the south end of the project should resume in October or November of 2021, and travelers along N.C. Highway 12 should expect lane closures or other work zone traffic control delays.
The bridge is currently projected to be complete by early 2022, with traffic shifting onto the structure in February or March.
The Jug Handle Bridge is considered part of Phase II of the Bonner Bridge Replacement Project, and is the final bridge of the three new bridges on Hatteras Island to be built. (The Captain Richard Etheridge Bridge on Pea Island was completed in the spring of 2018, and the Bonner Bridge replacement was completed in the spring of 2019.)
Once complete, the Jug Handle Bridge will connect the southern portion of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge to northern Rodanthe, bypassing the S-Turns section of N.C. Highway 12, which is highly susceptible to breaches and ocean overwash during storms.