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Buddy Phillips Bridge

Phillips Bridge Rededication, Mayor and guestsBuddy Phillips Bridge Reconstruction

The City of Jacksonville collaborated with NC DOT to pay for improvements to the bridge including the bishop’s hook lights, Texas chapel railing, bioremediation to treat the stormwater and the City advocated having the bridge made higher to allow more boat traffic and a future pedestrian crossing beneath the bridge

Jacksonville wanted the new bridge to show honor to its namesake and to be a proud point of entry to the City.

The City contributed about $450K to projects to improve the bridge. That included contributing to the bishop’s hook lights on the bridge that would send a message of welcome and to be part of a theme for our downtown.  It included supporting the Texas Chapel Railing that gives distinction to the bridge and advocating that this bridge be built taller than its predecessor. 

Following the City’s legacy of working to improve the New River, the City also advocated for a rain garden that would treat the stormwater runoff from the bridge before it got in the river. This follows the City’s heritage of taking leadership in efforts to restore the New River and to encourage stewardship.

Sturgeon City of Jacksonville, a nonprofit formed by the City for environmental and civic education, recycled the concrete from the bridge into a fishing reef in the New River. The reef is a popular place for fishermen and has created an estuarine sanctuary.

The nonprofit won a grant from NC Division of Marine Fisheries and cooperation with the Department of Transportation and the City to take the concrete and steel from the bridge. Crews then worked to make basketball sized elements that were used to construct a fishing reef near Stone Bay in the New River. The reef has already attracted recreational fishermen and has been a benefit to commercial fishermen in creating an estuarine habitat for nursery species.

2013 Rededication Ceremony

On August 9, 2013 a brief ceremony was held rededicating the Buddy Phillips Bridge featured the Chief Deputy Secretary of Operations for NC Department of Transportation, Major General James H. Trogdon III.

The Ceremony took place on the New River Waterfront Park (located between the bridges near the Pelletier House and behind the Summersill Courts Building), the ceremony will mark the end of reconstruction for the bridge.

Following the ceremony,  General Trogdon and other elected officials got into convertibles and crossed the bridge in a ceremonious rededication.

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