The N.C. Department of Transportation says in a news release that the new bridge over Oregon Inlet opened to traffic on Monday at 12:20 p.m.
Construction began on the $252 million bridge in March 2016. The new bridge is 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) long and rises 90 feet (27 meters) above Oregon Inlet at its highest point.
The new bridge replaces the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge, which was built in 1963 and is scheduled to be demolished by the end of the year. Officials say 1,000 feet (304 meters) of the old bridge will be preserved as a pedestrian walkway.
Formal dedication of the bridge is scheduled for April 2.
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