RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A new bridge that bypasses a wildlife refuge at the Outer Banks is set to open in April, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

The new 2.4-mile bridge extends from the southern end of N.C. 12 at the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge out over the Pamlico Sound and down into Rodanthe.

Construction began in early 2018. The project’s cost was initially set at $145.33 million, but that was later increased by $10 million, according to the NCDOT.

The existing segment of N.C. 12, which is 1.8 miles long, will eventually be removed and the land will be returned to the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, NCDOT officials said.

In Rodanthe, a small portion of existing N.C. 12 will remain so people can still access private properties.

The opening date for traffic is now set for sometime after Easter, possibly by April 25, NCDOT spokesman Marty Homan said Monday. The opening could happen sooner or later depending on weather, he said.

A roundabout is being built at the southern end of the bridge to connect bridge traffic with N.C. 12.