On November 11, 1980, it was officially dedicated as Veterans Memorial Bridge, though it is still referenced locally as the Columbia–Wrightsville Bridge. Long and built by Glen Wiley and Glenway Maxon (Wiley-Maxon Construction Company), it cost ,484,000 (equal to ,389,116 today) plus ,400 (equal to 6,226 today) paid as an early completion bonus.
Constructed of reinforced concrete, the 5,183-foot-long (1,580 m) bridge (6,657 feet (2,029 m) including spans over land) has 27 river piers, 22 approach piers, a 38-foot-wide (12 m) two-lane roadway, and a 6-foot-wide (1.8 m) sidewalk.) of concrete and 8 million pounds of steel reinforcing rods were used, and coffer dams were built to aid in construction.
A few years later, the bridge was once again closed briefly so that a weather-resistant coating could be applied to the roadway.Much of the mostly oak timber used in its construction was salvaged from the previous bridge.Its roof was covered with shingles, its sides with weatherboard, and its interior was whitewashed.Tolls of 25 cents per vehicle (equal to .66 today) were charged when the bridge first opened and ended on January 31, 1943, when the bond issue was retired.Some time after World War II, the original bridge lights were replaced with newer lighting.