- Published on Wednesday, 02 October 2013 23:31
- Written by Super User
Crews with American Bridge Co. began diverting traffic on Snow's Cut Bridge to reduce the four-lane roadway to two lanes as they begin work to complete a project to rehabilitate the aging structure.
By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
CAROLINA BEACH - Summer is over and Snow's Cut Bridge is returning to a two-lane traffic pattern to permit completion of an ongoing bridge preservation project.
Traffic on the bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway was reduced from four to two lanes in October 2012 to allow crews to perform extensive repair work.
Prior to the busy Memorial Day holiday weekend, the Town of Carolina Beach expressed a concern the reduction of lanes would create a traffic nightmare during the busy tourism season.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the Contractor performing the work agreed to complete work on the two southbound lanes and return in the fall to work on the two northbound lanes.
Carolina Beach Interim Town Manager Ed Parvin explained Tuesday September 3rd, that NCDOT officials said they would release the contractor to resume work on October 1st.
There will be one lane of traffic in each direction over the bridge for approximately three months to allow for the completion of bridge deck preservation work.
This project is part of the department’s State-Funded Bridge Improvement Program to improve the overall condition of the state’s bridges. The department is investing $810 million over four years to strategically perform preservation or rehabilitation work when possible. In this instance, replacing the bridge is a more feasible investment.
The project to rehabilitate the 51-year-old bridge leading onto Pleasure Island began in September 2012.
North Carolina Department of Transportation Secretary Gene Conti announced in June 2012, 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 is being 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 in late January causing traffic to slow at times.
Workers were slowing or stopping vehicles at times 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.
Even though the contractor delayed work on the two northbound lanes until this fall, work continued underneath the bridge.