SALEMBURG — Motorists who use Autryville Road, which extends for miles across western Sampson County west of Salemburg, will not be able to take advantage of the thoroughfare until November due to construction on a set of bridges that are nearly 70 years old, according to N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) officials.
The N.C. Department of Transportation will continue the closure on Autryville Road (State Road 1233) for three bridge replacements over Little Coharie Creek, with the estimated closure for lanes heading both directions extending through Nov. 15. The project began in May, according to information from transportation officials.
Traffic is being detoured from Autryville Road to N.C. 242 (Salemburg Road) and Old Salemburg Road (SR 1409).
According to DOT officials, the existing bridges were built in 1950 and are now considered “structurally deficient and functionally obsolete.”
“Even though they are still safe, they were built to the standards of their day and need to be replaced,” a statement from DOT read. “The new bridges will provide a safe and effective travel corridor for the public.”
The announcement of the extension of the closure was made by DOT in a recent press release. Local DOT representatives did not immediately return messages for comment, however officials reminded motorists to stay alert and use alternate routes when possible during the closure. All motorists are encouraged to “drive with caution, obey the posted speed limits and allow extra travel time.”
Across Sampson, there are two other areas that are currently closed or will be in the near future.
Bridge construction on Beulah Church Road north of Turkey, near Lake Artesia Road, will be ongoing until around Labor Day. That stretch of road headed east, closed for the past couple months, is anticipated to remain closed until Sept. 1. Expected impact to traffic is listed as “low.”
According to DOT officials, detours take motorists to Lake Artesia Road, then Pine Ridge Road, then south on W. McGowan Road and onto Thompson Avenue. Travelers then have to go west on Old Warsaw Road back to Beulah Church Road.
In other news, the N.C. DOT Bridge Maintenance Department will be replacing existing pipe culvert due to severe deterioration, pavement and a shoulder collapse on Welcome School Road, both directions, near Maxwell Road. That work is scheduled for a July 10 start and is expected to be completed by July 21.
For additional information on the bridge closure, as well as updates, visit http://www.ncdot.gov and click on “Travel & Maps” then click on “Traveler Information Management System.” Use dropdown menus to find updates on specific counties and routes.
Motorists can also call “511” from any phone. For real-time travel information, visit DriveNC.gov or follow NCDOT on Twitter.
Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.