Project Description

Topsail Island Bridge Replacement

The Topsail Island Bridge in North Carolina is one of only two bridges linking the popular vacation island to the mainland and is the primary access road for residents of Surf City and South Topsail Beach. The existing two-lane swing span bridge, originally constructed in the 1950s, spans the Intracoastal Waterway and received a low sufficiency rating in 2006.

RS&H is providing planning and design services for the replacement of Bridge No. 16 over the Intracoastal Waterway in Pender County, North Carolina. The existing bridge is a two-lane swing span with a very low sufficiency rating and provides one of only two connections to Topsail Island. We studied the impacts on the constraining physical and environmental features adjacent to the site and developed 16 alternative alignments for replacement.

The extensive public involvement effort included public meetings, newsletters, mailings, websites, phone hotlines, ad-hoc meetings, public official involvement, and stakeholder meetings, where the team’s advanced design visualization tools became an instrumental part of the communication process. The team developed a series of 3-D renderings, photo simulations, and animations for the 16 potential bridge alternatives, which enabled the community to make informed decisions about the project.

Below is the animation of the proposed design of the new bridge.

Project Details

Description Transportation
Public Involvement
Location Pender County, NC
Client/Owner North Carolina Department of Transportation


James W. Hullett, Jr.

Timothy T. Witsil