DOT plans to reopen Downing Street in June

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Crews with the N.C. Department of Transportation and Dellinger Inc. of Monroe are continuing to make progress on a bridge replacement and widening project on Downing Street in Wilson.

NCDOT closed Downing Street between I-795/U.S. 264 and Forest Hills Road in Wilson on July 29, 2013, so crews could begin replacement of two bridges over swamps of Contentnea Creek at the Wiggins Mill reservoir, as well as widen Downing Street between Forest Hills Road and the eastern most bridge. The road is expected to reopen to traffic in June, weather permitting.

Crews have completed construction of the structure of each bridge. The three-lane bridge closest to Forest Hills Road has two travel lanes and a turn lane. The other bridge has two travel lanes. Work has now begun on roadway improvements between each bridge, as well as widening Downing Street from the three-lane bridge to four lanes at the intersection with Forest Hills Road. Before the road can reopen to traffic, drainage work must be completed and the signal at Forest Hills Road will be revised to handle four lanes of traffic.

Signed detour routes are 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. in June 2013 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 meet current design standards for width, shoulders and railings, and do not have posted weight limits.

Motorists are advised to use caution while traveling in the area and to expect delays. NCDOT reminds motorists to watch signs for construction information, stay alert and obey the posted speed limit.

For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit or follow NCDOT on Twitter at  Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type “” 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.