Originally scheduled to be completed by October, the bridge replacement project on Waycross Road (SR 1943) located just south of Turkey has been extended, keeping both lanes of the road closed and motorists detouring for an additional month.
The replacement project is taking longer than the four months that was originally allotted because the contractor, Palmetto Infrastructure out of Greenville, South Carolina, is running behind schedule, reported Amanda Glynn, Division bridge program manager for the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT).
“It’s going a little slower than we would like,” she said. “We’ve actually called a meeting with the contractor next week to help them get back on schedule.”
The work to replace the bridge, which was built in 1953 and crosses over Stewart Creek, began in mid-June but experienced some early delays, Glynn shared, noting that the award process for bids was slow as was getting the contractor to the site to begin work.
Bridge replacement was deemed necessary by the NCDOT for the Waycross Road bridge due to the its need for continual and costly maintenance.
“It was at that point where maintenance was no longer making sense financially. It was better to just go ahead and replace it,” said Glynn, adding that the bridge was classified as both structurally deficient and functionally obsolete.
According to the NCDOT website, a structurally deficient bridge is one that is still safe for motorists but “is in relatively poor condition, or has insufficient load-carrying capacity. The insufficient load capacity could be due to the original design or to deterioration.”
Similarly, a bridge that is deemed functionally obsolete is still safe for travel but is often “narrow, has inadequate under-clearances, has insufficient load-carrying capacity, is poorly aligned with the roadway, and can no longer adequately service today’s traffic.”
Glynn also shared the Waycross Road bridge was rare in its construction.
“It’s an unusual type of bridge,” she said, explaining that the bridge’s deck “was made of small pre-cast units that were tensioned and held together with cables.”
Calling it “an interesting structure,” Gylnn pointed out that “it was actually the only one in our division like that” and that it’s unusual construction has made it “a challenging structure to remove.”
Replacement work on the bridge is now scheduled to be completed by Friday, November 29 at 5 p.m. “That’s the current anticipation,” said Glynn.
While the work continues for over another month, both lanes of Waycross Road will remain closed to traffic.
NCDOT is suggesting that motorists take the following detour: Take K Bryan Road (SR 1944) to Bonham Road (SR 1117). From there, travel to NC 903 and then to Beasleys Road (SR 1104). Next, take Cornwallis Road (SR 1927) to MJ Johnson Road (SR 1942) where motorist will be able re-enter Waycross Road.
This bridge replacement project is part of a larger state-funded bridge replacement program, shared Glynn, pointing out that the program has made possible many bridge replacements in Duplin and Sampson counties. Currently, there are eight bridge replacements planned for Sampson under the program.
For more information, please visit www.ncdot.gov.
Lauren Williams can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 117 or via email at email@example.com.