News

Bridge work will close Downing Street section for year

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Transportation will close Downing Street between I-795/U.S. 264 and Forest Hills Road in Wilson on Monday, July 29, so crews can begin replacement of two bridges over swamps of Contentnea Creek at the Wiggins Mill reservoir.

The road is expected to reopen to traffic by June 1, 2014, with all work completed by Nov. 28, 2014.

Signed detour routes will be in place directing traffic around the closure using Forest Hills Road, N.C. 42, I-795/U.S. 264 and U.S. 301. A map of the project locations and roads used for the detour routes can be found here.

NCDOT awarded a $1.8 million contract to Dellinger Inc. of Monroe for the bridge replacements. Both bridges were constructed in 1961 and are classified as structurally deficient and functionally obsolete. This means that while the bridges remain safe, they require repairs and were built to design standards no longer used for bridges. They also need to be replaced to meet current and future traffic demands.

Because of their condition, NCDOT had posted weight limits on each bridge, restricting single-axle vehicles weighing more than 17 tons and trucks weighing more than 25 tons from using the bridges. The new bridges will meet current design standards for width, shoulders and railings, and will not have posted weight limits.

This is one of 29 contracts totaling $107.5 million awarded by NCDOT in June 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 9.1 percent, or $10.7 million, below NCDOT estimates.

For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twitter at www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter.  Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type “m.ncdot.gov” into the browser of your smartphone. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference. NCDOT Mobile is compatible with the iPhone, Android and some newer Blackberry phones.