5 votes

Surf City Swing Bridge


Photo taken by Matthew Ridpath in January 2009


BH Photo #132273


Street Views 


"The bridge's swing span has a fascinating history. It was originally erected about 1930 at Sears Landing, now Sunset Beach, near the South Carolina border. In 1954 Hurricane Hazel blew out that bridge and the state chose to float its swing span on pontoons about 80 miles northeast and place it across the Intracoastal Waterway at Surf City in Pender County. Along with installing the span to carry traffic on NC 50/NC 210 from the mainland to that town and other points on Topsail Island, the state erected six tee beam approaches on the east (island) end of the structure. Together with the swing span, these give the bridge a total length of 463 feet.

The operator's house for the bridge was located, in 1954, at mid-span above the roadway in the truss superstructure. About 1975 the state replaced it with a flat-roofed house complete with modern electrical controls at the swing span's southeast corner. The bridge has retained its original gearing and mechanical systems, however, and continues to operate much as it has since at least 1954."-NCDOT


Swing bridge over Intracoastal Waterway on NC50/NC210 in Surf City
Surf City, Pender County, North Carolina
Replaced by a new bridge
Built 1954-55; Closed 2018; Demolished 2019
Riveted polygonal Warren through truss swing span (with bolts on repaired connections); concrete tee-beam approach spans.
Length of largest span: 127.0 ft.
Total length: 462.9 ft.
Deck width: 24.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 15.1 ft.
Also called
Old Surf City Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+34.43120, -77.54959   (decimal degrees)
34°25'52" N, 77°32'59" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/265718/3812916 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Holly Ridge
Average daily traffic (as of 2015)
Inventory numbers
NC 1410016 (North Carolina bridge number)
BH 23304 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of March 2018)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • April 9, 2020: Updated by Nick Boppel: Bridge is gone; also add "swing" to name to distingush from replacement bridge
  • December 4, 2018: Updated by Curtis Lee: This swing span was closed on 12/04/2018. The new high rise replacement bridge is open to traffic.
  • December 9, 2017: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • September 16, 2016: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • January 29, 2016: New photos from Royce and Bobette Haley
  • January 9, 2016: Updated by Curtis Lee: Updated year built
  • December 10, 2015: New Street View added by Douglas Butler
  • August 11, 2015: Updated by Royce and Bobette Haley: Changed build date -description
  • August 18, 2014: Added by Douglas Butler
  • August 26, 2013: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • October 21, 2010: Updated by Nathan Holth: This bridge is now doomed.
  • March 11, 2010: Updated by Matthew Ridpath: Added Street View
  • March 21, 2009: New photos from Matthew Ridpath
  • January 10, 2009: New photos from Matthew Ridpath



Surf City Bridge
Posted December 4, 2018, by Curtis Lee (clee47ford [at] yahoo [dot] com)

This swing span was closed on 12/04/2018. The new high rise replacement bridge is now open to traffic.

Surf City Bridge
Posted June 15, 2018, by WILLIAM GARTLEY (williamgartley [at] comcast [dot] net)

James, I have wanted to thank you for re-posting the swing bridge photos

thanks again

Bull G

Sears Landing Bridge
Posted December 5, 2017, by Royce and Bobette Haley (roycehaley111 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Looks like it is a duplicate page for Surf City Bridge http://bridgehunter.com/nc/pender/1410016/

Sears Landing Bridge
Posted December 5, 2017, by R boylston

Unless I missed something in the last year, the Sears Landing swing bridge is still up and running...last time I saw it was DEC.2016 and I plan to see it this Christmas.

Surf City Bridge
Posted October 14, 2017, by Nathan Delaplaine (ndelaplaine [at] gmail [dot] com )

When the replacement bridge opens, the original bridge will no longer operate.

Surf City Bridge
Posted January 9, 2016, by Curtis Lee (clee47ford [at] yahoo [dot] com)
Surf City Bridge
Posted December 29, 2015, by Curtis Lee (clee47ford [at] yahoo [dot] com)

A high arch replacement bridge is in the works with construction planned for the 2017 time frame. The replacement bridge will be approx. 1,000 ft. south of the existing swing bridge. The replacement bridge will have a clearance of 65' above the mean water level. The new fixed bridge will begin at the intersection of Roland Avenue, Little Kinston Road and Atkinson Point on the mainland side and connect to N.C. 210 on the island side between Kinston Avenue and Roland Avenue.

Surf City Bridge
Posted May 19, 2009, by Carol Overstreet (coverstreet8736 [at] charter [dot] net)

How many other swing bridges are there along the North Carolina Coast?