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Snow's Cut Bridge Project Postponed Until Next Week

A project to rehabilitate the 50+ year old Snow's Cut Bridge leading onto Pleasure Island has been postponed. Work was set to begin Wednesday September 5th, but on Tuesday it was postponed until sometime next week. The project is scheduled for completion within 390 days after the start date. Lanes will be closed at times restricting traffic to permit crews to perform the work.

Managing Editor

UPDATE: Work has begun at night earlier than indicated by the State Department of Transportation on Friday September 7th.

CAROLINA BEACH - A project to rehabilitate Snow's Cut Bridge leading onto Pleasure Island was supposed to start Wednesday September 5, but has been postponed until next week. The bridge turned 50 years old in 2011. North Carolina Department of Transportation Secretary Gene Conti announced in June the NCDOT 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. Even though orange barrels and a digital message sign were brought out September 4th, Wayne Currie, NCDOT Resident Engineer, explained via email that, "Work on the Snow's Cut Bridge was scheduled to begin tomorrow night. However, work has been postponed until next week."
According to Amanda T. Glynn, PE, NCDOT Division Bridge Program Manager 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. Hydro-demolition is more precise, minimizes the impact to traffic and safer than traditional pavement removal with a jackhammer, and it reduces the potential for damage to the bridge. 
Town Manager Tim Owens explained Tuesday September 4, he was informed the plan is to close two lanes on one side of the four-lane bridge. That would restrict traffic to two lanes while permitting crews to operate in a safe and efficient environment.
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.
The Coast Guard is also preparing to set up a safety zone in the waterway during the project. Vessels of a certain size will be required to notify authorities in advance prior to navigating under 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."
This is one of 30 contracts totaling $109.3 million recently awarded 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.