Motorists traveling in Sampson County will have to find yet another road to travel during March, as Department of Transportation crews work to repair a bridge in the Basstown Road area.
According to Shannon Baylor, bridge maintenance supervisor, both directions of Basstown Road (State Road 1827), 0.1 miles north of Grady Road (State Road 1831) will close at 8 a.m. Monday, March 18 and remain closed until Thursday, March 28 at 5 p.m.
Baylor said crews will be doing routine maintenance on the bridge.
“We hope to be finished with the repairs before March 18, but it really will depend on the weather,” Baylor stressed.
The work is classified as routine, Baylor said, noting that crews will be replacing damaged tiles that support the structure.
“This was one of the bridges scheduled for repairs. We’ll be working on the timber under the bridge. There’s been some deterioration over time and it is on the list to get the needed repairs.”
Crews will drive metal H piles into the structure, using them as additional stabilizer.
The bridge was built in 1951 and has undergone other repairs over the course of several decades. The work that is being done, Baylor said, was not major and problems with the bridge are really minor.
“It’s part of our routine maintenance. Bridges are inspected every two years, and we scheduled repairs, as they are needed, every couple of months,” Baylor said.
The Basstown Road bridge is among several scheduled for repairs in both Sampson and Duplin counties. Baylor said the next bridge work will likely be in Duplin County, but a return to Sampson will happen closer to the summer.
This is the second bridge in a month to come up for repair in Samspon. A portion of U.S. 701 south, at the Garland Highway Bridge, was closed Monday, March 4, so DOT crews could being to update the structure’s pilings.
That area is scheduled to reopen at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 28 unless crews get the work done quicker.
“We are overcompensating on the time it will likely take, just in case we run into some problems we haven’t anticipated,” Baylor said in an earlier interview.
At the Garland Highway bridge, crews will be doing super structure work to the existing pilings on the bridge.
Trevor Carroll, DOT bridge maintenance engineer, said last month that those bridge pilings are made of wood and usually begin to deteriorate after a number of years and wear and tear.
“Since this is a primary road, we are doing a little more than we normally would. In most cases, we usually replace the wood pilings with more wood, but placing it in a concrete sleeve.With this bridge, we are doing a little more because it is such a heavy traveled area. We are going to put in new steel pilings, taking the load off the existing pilings.”
Cost of the repairs, Carroll said, was estimated at $30,000.
Work on both bridges is part of the DOT’s Transportation Improvement Plan for 2013.
“We hope to have the repairs done ahead of schedule, but we like to give ourselves plenty of time, just in case,” Baylor said of both bridges.
In a press release, officials with the DOT reminded motorists to stay alert, use alternative routes when possible during such closures, drive with caution, obey the posted speed limits and allow extra travel time.
For additional information regarding the dates and times of both bridge closures, visit www.ncdot.org and click on Travel & Maps, then click on Traveler Information Management Systems and use the drop down menus for county or route, or call 511 from any phone.