- Published on Wednesday, 09 April 2014 23:26
- Written by Super User
The North Carolina Department of Transportation will begin lane closures on Snow's Cut Bridge starting April 21, to perform bridge inspections.
By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
CAROLINA BEACH - The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) announced earlier this week they will begin a planned inspection of Snow's Cut Bridge requiring lanes to be closed at certain times.
According to NCDOT they, "will begin daily intermittent lane closures Monday, April 21 in both directions of the U.S. 421 bridge over the Cape Fear River in Carolina Beach."
Weather permitting, the lane closures will be in place from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. through Thursday, April 24. The closures are necessary for crews to perform routine biannual bridge inspections.
The Snow's Cut Bridge rehabilitation project is preparing to wrap up in the coming weeks and return to four lanes of traffic. All that remains is completing work on joints in the roadway and painting areas under the bridge.
In February the contractor said they were on schedule to have work completed and all lanes open by March 14, 2014 pending delays caused by weather. 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 needed attention to areas weathered by the elements over the decades.
This bridge was rehabilitated using a new resurfacing technique called hydro-demolition. During the resurfacing process, the deteriorated concrete on the bridge deck was removed in part using high-pressure water, and the bridge was 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.
In addition to hydro-demolition, the contract also included painting of structural steel and repairs to substructure concrete. The process is designed to protect the road surface and bridge structure from the elements.
The bridge preservation project was estimated in December for completion in February of 2014 but that date was 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 of 2013 to work on the two northbound lanes. Work continued on the structure beneath the bridge throughout the summer. The contractor to resumed work on the roadway in October of 2013.
Wayne Currie - Resident Engineer with the North Carolina Department of Transportation explained Monday March 24th, "The completion of the bridge is drawing near! However, work still continues on in the two northbound lanes. Much of the work remaining, on the deck, such as the completion of the joints between each span of the bridge is controlled by the rain and cool temperatures."
He explained, "The painting contractor is working from the northbound lanes doing touch up work on the painting beneath the bridge. Once all the work is completed in the northbound lanes traffic will be switched back to the northbound lanes still in a two way pattern to allow the painting contractor to finish the work beneath southbound lanes. Once this work can be completed the bridge can be restriped and opened back to four lanes."
He explained, "My guess is that we are still a few weeks away from completion. With the weather like it is this week I do not anticipate a lot of work being completed this week."