Known as the “Harbor of Hospitality", Elizabeth City has been a historic player in the shipping industry due to its location at the narrowing of the Pasquotank River. In the early part of the 20th century, engineers determined that building a bascule bridge would be the most efficient way to span the river without impacting maritime activity. The bridge was later twinned to alleviate traffic congestion resulting from the region’s economic growth.
However, after nearly 80 years of continuous use, the original eastbound bridge started to show its age. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) was faced with a dilemma; continue to use the existing bridge and face constant repairs and traffic interruptions, or replace the bridge all-together. When the NCDOT determined it was time to replace the aging structure, the project was put on an accelerated design and construction schedule. NCDOT needed a bridge design firm with proven bascule bridge engineering experience, a sensitivity to stakeholder needs, and the capacity to develop the design in a shortened time frame; they found these qualities in Modjeski and Masters.
M&M provided preliminary and final design services for structural, mechanical, and electrical design for the bridge replacement. Also part of this project, the westbound bridge was temporarily closed to traffic and rehabilitated when the new eastbound bridge was completed. Both bridges are now operated from a new control tower located on the new eastbound bridge.
A hallmark of Modjeski and Masters, our relationship with the NCDOT has been built on trust. M&M is currently providing construction support services under our second consecutive movable bridge on-call contract. This relationship is enabling M&M to help NCDOT with their accelerated bridge project in Elizabeth City. It is yet another example of the lifecycle bridge services we provide our clients.
Leon K. Huang, PE (Principal In Charge)
Lance V. Borden, PE (Project Mgr. & Lead Elec. Engineer)
Kevin W. Johns, PE (Lead Structural Engineer)
Jeffrey W. Newman, PE (Lead Mechanical Engineer)