WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) – After being closed for nearly two years, the Washington-to-Chocowinity bridge is closer to completion after crews shut it down for repairs.

An average of 15,000 drivers use the Pamlico River bridge daily between Chocowinity and Washington. Repairs on the bridge started in 2021 and now, almost two years later, many in the area are wondering when the roadwork will be finished.

“We have done many repairs on this bridge, and quite a bit more were added during the life of the contract to repair damages that weren’t found in the original investigation,” said Sarah Lentine, NCDOT resident engineer. “We’ve also put in new railings and fixed the joints on the bridge so we don’t have as much cracking and degradation on the bridge deck.”

This project is actually one of two currently underway. The nearby ‘Chocowinity Bridge’ project that goes over railroad tracks and is just down the way from the Pamlico River bridge is a completely new structure, which required relocating utilities and building a new roadway.

“The railroad bridge is closed, so we are asking that everybody use the Washington bypass bridge, while we are replacing the bridge of the railroad,” said Lentine.

State House Rep. Keith Kidwell serves Beaufort County and posted on Facebook an expected time frame of being able to drive normally without having to take detours.

Originally the projects were set to be completed by May 15.

“We have had a few issues here and there. Mostly at the railroad bridge, we’ve had some issues with the utility relocations and just the nature of the environment there with the wetlands and everything,” said Lentine. “With the river bridge, we’ve added more work because of the degradation underneath the bridge.”

Lentine added that even though there were a few issues, the slight delay will be worth it and the wait will soon be over for the roughly $16 million project.