The bridge controller house on the Heide Trask Drawbridge is one of the many aspects of the drawbridge that is receiving a facelift during the repairs by contractor American Bridge that started in the fall of 2012. Kerry Cross, resident engineer with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, said the new two-story control house would be a unique state-of-the-art facility.
“There’s certainly not been a control house build in our division like this,” Cross said. “It’s fairly unique and an opportunity to upgrade the whole facility.”
The lump sum bid for the control house portion of the bridgework was $650,000, including materials and labor, Cross said. Like the entire bridge repair project, the control house project is a state funded NCDOT project.
A majority of the second level’s exterior will be glass with the rest of the house being constructed out of stucco and composite aluminum. Cross said the horizontal slope of the roof was included to provide optimum visibility for the bridge controller in the direction of Wrightsville Beach and the Intracoastal Waterway.
“There will be a lot of glass in that control house because obviously you want to get that controller up to where they can see better and more area, he said. “You want to make sure there’s some slope so it will drain and then you want to be able to see in that direction towards the waterway and beach very closely.”
Cross said other material details are still unknown because American Bridge is still awaiting approval of the permits they filed.
The entire bridge repair project is scheduled to end in the fall of 2013, but the NCDOT said all four lanes of traffic would be open the first week of April.