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Work Continues On Snow's Cut Bridge Project; Dow Road Project To Start Soon

Crews continue working on the $4.6 million dollar Snow's Cut Bridge preservation project. Earlier this week resurfacing began on the two southbound lanes. Once that work is complete those lanes will be reopened and the remaining two-lanes will be closed for repairs and resurfacing over a number of months.

Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - Work continues on the $4.6 million dollar Snow's Cut Bridge rehabilitation project. The most recent progress report from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) shows the original completion date for the project as September 29, 2013. The scheduled progress of the project as of December 31, 2012 was 27% with actual progress listed at 14.09%.
Traffic on the bridge on Carolina Beach Road/U.S. 421 over the Intracoastal Waterway was reduced from four to two lanes in October to allow crews to perform extensive repair work.
The project to rehabilitate the 51-year-old bridge leading onto Pleasure Island began in September. One lane will remain open to traffic in each direction throughout the project which was expected to last approximately four months.
Cones and other traffic-control devices are in place to direct motorists using the bridge. The lane closures will remain in place during the entire construction period.
North Carolina Department of Transportation Secretary Gene Conti announced in June, 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.
This bridge will be rehabilitated using a new resurfacing technique called hydro-demolition. During this resurfacing process, the deteriorated concrete on the bridge deck is  removed in part using high-pressure water, and the bridge will be resurfaced using high-strength concrete.
Crews began resurfacing the lanes on the west side of the bridge earlier this week causing traffic to slow at times.
Workers were slowing or stopping vehicles at times on Tuesday to avoid spray from the project blowing onto passing vehicles.
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.
In addition to hydro-demolition, the contract also includes painting of structural steel and repairs to substructure concrete. The process is designed to protect the road surface and bridge structure from the elements.
Another project designed to widen Dow Road on Pleasure Island is preparing for construction. The $1.6 million dollar project will widen the highway and add turn lanes at high-traffic intersections including Cape Fear Blvd, Harper Avenue and Ocean Blvd. Dow Road runs north and south along the west side of the Island.
The Town of Carolina Beach issued a press release December 31, alerting the public to the upcoming project which will at times detour traffic. A specific schedule has not yet been released by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). The project is also designed to make drainage improvements and resurface the state highway.
According to Interim Town Manager Ed Parvin, road construction and traffic markings are planned to be complete before the summer season begins (May 1, 2013).  There may be delays experienced between now and May 1, 2013.  NCDOT will not be conducting construction on weekends unless unforeseen circumstances arise. Work will likely continue through October 2013 to finalize the project (i.e. establishing permanent vegetation), however no delays are anticipated after May 1, 2013.
Copies of the plans have been posted on the Town’s website at
Parvin explained in an email to the Council in December, " The right of way defined by the NCDOT did not match what we have surveyed or what is shown on our tax maps.  Essentially we are losing some property which creates a need to redesign the parking for our fire department expansion.  This can be accommodated, however the NCDOT project will also impact private property owners in the vicinity of the Fire Department."
He explained, "I have asked NCDOT for a map showing the areas where private property owners will see the street moving closer to their homes. We will plan to send letters to these property owners to let them know about the project and give them contact information for the town and NCDOT in the event they have questions or concerns."

On January 30th, Wayne Currie - NCDOT Engineer - said of the Dow Road project, "We are still waiting on Barnhill Contracting to start work. During the preconstruction meeting they anticipated on started in January. The completion date for this project is May 1, 2013. They should have plenty of time to complete the work by then."

As for the Snow's Cut Bridge project, Currie explained, "The contractor, American Bridge has been busy installing their work platform beneath the bridge at Snow's Cut. The sandblasting and painting beneath the bridge should begin soon. They have also completed most of the demolition of the bridge deck in the southbound lanes and began placing concrete yesterday. The goal is to complete all the work on the decks prior to summer."