- Published on Wednesday, 04 December 2013 13:16
- Written by Super User
The Snow's Cut Bridge Preservation Project is estimated for completion in February 2014. Police will help with traffic flow following the Friday night Christmas Parade in Carolina Beach.
By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
CAROLINA BEACH - The Island of Lights Christmas Parade is set for Friday night December 6th in Carolina Beach. The event traditionally draws thousands of people to watch the parade route along Lake Park Blvd throughout the heart of town.
The ongoing Snow's Cut Bridge preservation project has reduced the four lane bridge connecting Pleasure Island to the mainland to two lanes.
Carolina Beach Police Lt. Chris Spivey said Monday the plan for controlling traffic will be the same as last year.
The parade route will be from Spartanburg Avenue and South Lake Park Blvd north to the intersection of North Lake Park and Dow Road just past Town Hall.
Traffic heading south along North Lake Park Blvd will be detoured to Dow Road for people living on the west side of Lake Park Blvd and south to Kure Beach and Fort Fisher.
For traffic headed to the north end peninsula area of Carolina Beach Avenue North and Canal Drive, traffic will be diverted to Lewis Drive and Saint Joseph Street to the intersection of Saint Joseph Street and Lake Park Blvd at the Domino's Pizza restaurant. At that location traffic will be directed through the parking lot of Blackburn Brother's Seafood which connects to a Town Parking lot and Carl Winner Avenue where vehicles can proceed to the north end.
Carolina Beach Avenue South residents will be permitted to use that one-way street for two-way traffic during the parade.
When the event ends, traffic is traditionally congested leaving the Island.
Spivey said the plan, similar to last year, is to position Carolina Beach Police Officers at the intersection of Dow Road and North Lake Park Blvd to help keep traffic moving through that intersection.
New Hanover County Sheriff's Deputies will be positioned at the stoplight just north of Snow's Cut Bridge at the intersection of Hwy 421 and River Road to permit traffic to flow freely through that intersection and help motorists exit the area.
The bridge preservation project is estimated for completion in February of 2014 but that date is tentative due to the nature of the project and weather conditions.
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 2013 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, 2013.
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.
Wayne Currie with NCDOT said Tuesday December 3rd, "The estimated completion date of February 2014 is our anticipated timeframe for completion. The hydro-demolition of the deck on the two northbound lanes is completed and placing of the concrete overlay should begin next week. This will probably take six weeks to two months to complete."
Currie explained, "The substructure repairs or work beneath the bridge is progressing. Work remains to be done at four of the twenty-eight columns. This work should also be completed within two months. It is harder to estimate the time on rehabilitation work than new construction. We do not always know the extent of the repairs needed until we get started."