Our State: Celebrating North Carolina

CROSSING into the FUTURE

A SIGNATURE BRIDGE CAN DEFINE A CITY, change its skyline, become a visual icon that embodies some core truth about its identity. The Brooklyn Bridge became the emblem of industrial beauty and aspiration in 19th-century New York City. The Golden Gate Bridge over San Francisco Bay became the archway of brave departure and triumphant return during World War II.

Such bridges connect vital places, and — whatever their practical purpose — they also are intrinsically metaphorical, a physical manifestation of the idea of connection to something larger.

By the mid-20th century, Wilmington badly needs such a modern bridge.

Built on a coastal peninsula and separated from the rest of the state to the west by the Cape Fear River and to the north by the Northeast Cape Fear, the Port City

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