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Back You are here: Home News Local and State News Local Crews Inspect Snow's Cut Bridge Earlier This Week

Crews Inspect Snow's Cut Bridge Earlier This Week

Crews were inspecting Snow's Cut Bridge earlier this week as part of a routine inspection every two years. Later this year the bridge is scheduled for a $4.6 million dollar rehab project.

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - Crews were out earlier this week inspecting Snow's Cut Bridge. The bridge is inspected  every two years by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to monitor for structural issues that may arise.
According to Amanda T. Glynn, PE, NCDOT Division Bridge Program Manager, this routine inspection is not part of an upcoming rehab project to make improvements to the bridge.
Snow's Cut Bridge turned 50 years old in 2011. North Carolina Department of Transportation Secretary Gene Conti announced last month the NCDOT was awarded a $4.6 million contract to American Bridge Co. of Coraopolis, Pa. to preserve the bridge over Snows Cut on U.S. 421 in Carolina Beach. The bridge was built in the 1960's and needs attention to areas weathered by the elements over the decades.
On Tuesday July 10, Glynn explained the rehab project likely won't start until after Labor Day and is scheduled for completion in 390 days after the start date.
This bridge will be rehabilitated using a new resurfacing technique called hydro-demolition. During this resurfacing process, the deteriorated concrete on the bridge deck will be removed in part using high-pressure water, and the bridge will be resurfaced using high-strength concrete.
Hydro-demolition is more precise than traditional pavement removal with a jackhammer, and it reduces the potential for damage to the bridge.  In addition, hydro-demolition is safer and faster than traditional demolition methods and minimizes the impact to traffic.
Before the rehab project could begin, a separate project was completed last month to install guardrails on both sides of the approaches onto and off of Pleasure Island.
In recent years vehicles have driven off the road just before the bridge, rolling down a steep hill.
Glynn explained earlier this year that hydro-demolition involves using a machine jetting water under high pressure at the road surface to remove typically one to one and a half inches of loose or deteriorated concrete. Sometimes there are deeper areas depending on the condition of the road surface which varies from one area to the next.
After that, a latex modified concrete will be put down to protect the underlying concrete and superstructure from salt intrusion.
During the project travel lanes will be restricted at times.
Glynn said the lane restriction schedule will allow the contractor to work during daylight hours when temperatures will be more favorable for laying down the latex concrete and painting sections of the bridge.
In addition to hydro-demolition, the contract also includes painting of structural steel and repairs to substructure concrete.
NCDOT hopes that the time restrictions will allow the contractor to complete the project with as little disruption as possible to traffic during the day and to residents living near the bridge at night."
Built in 1961, Snow’s Cut Bridge is the only bridge serving Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Fort Fisher on Pleasure Island. It receives periodic maintenance and a full inspection every two years.
This is one of 30 contracts totaling $109.3 million recently awarded by Conti for highway and bridge projects across North Carolina. NCDOT awarded the contracts to the lowest bidders, as required by state law. The bids received on the projects awarded came in about 3.9 percent, or $4.4 million, below NCDOT estimates.