RODANTHE, N.C. (WNCN/AP) – State officials say the opening of a bridge on the North Carolina coast that would allow locals and tourists to avoid a constantly washed-out route has been delayed because of a problem with pavement markings.

The original opening date was set before the end of April — so the opening has now been delayed nearly six weeks.

The N.C. Department of Transportation says pavement markings installed earlier this week on the Rodanthe ‘Jug Handle’ Bridge in Dare County do not meet specifications for quality or reflectivity.

Flatiron, the prime contractor, said it would seek a new subcontractor to replace the substandard markings and re-stripe the bridge and the intersections.

Pavement markings are the last step in the completion of the 2.4-mile bridge.

The new 2.4-mile bridge will extend 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 of the bridge 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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report