HARKERS ISLAND, CARTERET COUNTY - For now, one lane takes you across the one bridge to Harkers Island. The construction crew working hard on the bridge has been a common sight seen for the past few months. The community members took it upon themselves to thank them for working on their bridge.
"The weather that they've been through; the sleet, the icy rain, the very heavy winds. We've seen them up there working so as Downeasters we wanted to recognize them," said Carbie Lewis, a volunteer.
When construction started, residents and visitors could cross, but not school buses or vehicles weighing more than five tons. Now, all traffic may cross, but it's still just one vehicle at a time.
"It was real rusty. You could tell it needed fixing," said Kenli Peppers, a first grader at Harkers Island Elementary School.
Some people pass the crew twice a day. That's what inspired Lewis and other volunteers to thank them with a hot bowl of Downeast clam chowder. Students made thank you cards and signed a safety vest.
"We're thankful for it. Other places we've been people aren't so friendly," said Vincent Turner, a member of the construction crew.
While crews have been working on the bridge, people have been bringing them muffins and showing their appreciation. It's not very often that a crew gets treated with a hot meal.
"It's very rare you get a hot meal. We hardly ever get a meal from the community," said Turner.
The bridge is the community's lifeline to the mainland.
"If it wasn't there, you'd have to drive a boat or swim. In the winter time, the water is cold," said Peppers.
Construction is targeted to be completed by April.