HistoricBridges.org Menu: HistoricBridges.org Menu:

We Recommend:
Bach Steel - Experts at historic truss bridge restoration.

HistoricBridges.org: Bridge Browser

Wrightsville Beach Bridge

C. Heide Trask Memorial Bridge

Wrightsville Beach Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Elaine Deutsch

Bridge Documented: July 2015

View Photos
and Videos
View Maps
and Links

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
US-74 and US-76 (Eastwood Road) Over Intracoastal Waterway
Wrightsville Beach Bridge: New Hanover County, North Carolina: United States
Structure Type
Metal Variable Depth Deck Girder, Movable: Double Leaf Bascule (Fixed Trunnion) and Approach Spans: Concrete T-Beam, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1956 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown and Engineer/Design: L.O. Hopkins of Nashville, Tennessee
Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
170.0 Feet (51.8 Meters)
Structure Length
731.0 Feet (222.8 Meters)
Roadway Width
56.4 Feet (17.19 Meters)
1 Main Span(s) and 14 Approach Span(s)
Inventory Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

This is a large example of a plate girder bascule bridge and it is noted for its innovative machinery.

Information and Findings From North Carolina's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The C. Heide Trask Memorial Bridge is technologically significant as an example of a simple trunnion, double leaf, bascule bridge that used the innovative Hopkins-drive-system as the common base for its operating machinery. The system allowed for the pre-assembly of high-speed components in the shop and simplified erection and alignment in the field, important advances for a movable bridge type that required precise operations. The Trask Memorial Bridge and the contemporary Graydon Paul Bridge (Carteret County Bridge 29) are the only pre-1961, Hopkins-drive. bascule bridges in North Carolina.

The span at the heart of this 15-span, 731-long-bridge is the 171-foot-long bascule. Concrete counterweights, necessary to the teeter-totter-like movement of the bridge, are framed into the heel ends of its bascule leaves. The bascule retains its original mechanical systems including motors, gear sets, and Hopkins-drive. The 14 approach spans, which give the bridge its extensive total length, are 41-foot-long, tee beam spans finished with state-standard-design, concrete balustrades.

The Trask Memorial Bridge carries US 74/US 76 over the Intracoastal Waterway between Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach. It was built to replace a much shorter bascule span located just to its south. (That span's old approach roadways are still visible.) The erection of the bridge in 1957-1958 was prompted by the efforts of local State Highway Commission member C. Heide Trask (1902-1957), for whom it was named. The State Highway Commission designed the bridge with the assistance of consulting engineer L.O. Hopkins of Nashville, Tennessee, the developer and namesake of the bridge's drive-system.

Bascule technology saw its greatest period of development and innovation between 1890 and 1910 in the United States. In a variety of ways during the period, engineers solved the complex problems of designing a bridge that shifted out of the way of vessels in an efficient and reliable manner. Post-1910 bascule bridges often incorporated later refinements that improved safety and speed of operation, and lowered erection or maintenance costs, but did not substantially change the principles of operation. Hopkins' drive-system was one of these advances. The Trask Memorial Bridge is a simple trunnion design, also known as a Chicago-type bascule, for the city where the design became so popular. In a simple trunnion design, the bascule leaves pivot in a vertical plane (up and down), with the center of rotation fixed at the pivot point or trunnion. Over the long term, the simple trunnion proved more economical and simpler to construct, operate, and maintain than several of the earlier bascule designs, including the rolling lift type represented in North Carolina at the Smith Mills Bridge (Camden County Bridge 14).

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes


Photo Galleries and Videos: Wrightsville Beach Bridge


View Photo Gallery

Bridge Photo-Documentation

Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer.
Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer


View Photo Gallery

Bridge Photo-Documentation

Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer.
Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer


Maps and Links: Wrightsville Beach Bridge

Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):

Search For Additional Bridge Listings:

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of this bridge.

HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser: View listed bridges within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of this bridge.

2021 National Bridge Inventory: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

Additional Maps:

Google Maps

Google Streetview (If Available)

Bing Maps


GeoHack (Additional Links and Coordinates)

Apple Maps (Via DuckDuckGo Search)

Apple Maps (Apple devices only)


HERE We Go Maps

ACME Mapper

Waze Map

Android: Open Location In Your Map or GPS App

Flickr Gallery (Find Nearby Photos)

Wikimedia Commons (Find Nearby Photos)

Directions Via Sygic For Android

Directions Via Sygic For iOS and Android Dolphin Browser

USGS National Map (United States Only)

Historical USGS Topo Maps (United States Only)

Historic Aerials (United States Only)

CalTopo Maps (United States Only)

Home Top


About - Contact

© Copyright 2003-2023, HistoricBridges.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer: HistoricBridges.org is a volunteer group of private citizens. HistoricBridges.org is NOT a government agency, does not represent or work with any governmental agencies, nor is it in any way associated with any government agency or any non-profit organization. While we strive for accuracy in our factual content, HistoricBridges.org offers no guarantee of accuracy. Information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Information could include technical inaccuracies or errors of omission. Opinions and commentary are the opinions of the respective HistoricBridges.org member who made them and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone else, including any outside photographers whose images may appear on the page in which the commentary appears. HistoricBridges.org does not bear any responsibility for any consequences resulting from the use of this or any other HistoricBridges.org information. Owners and users of bridges have the responsibility of correctly following all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, regardless of any HistoricBridges.org information.

Admin Login