Bridge to be partially open for several weeks, NCDOT says

Published 2:52 pm Monday, June 19, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The four-lane U.S. Highway 17 bridge partially opened on Friday, June 16 – one month after its original completion date. 

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), the bridge will be a temporary two-lane bridge for several weeks, because of “minor work” required to complete the project. 

NCDOT Resident Engineer, Sarah Lentine, said the department was “not happy” with work to the bridge deck, because “draining wasn’t happening on the bridge” and “the overall surface of the bridge is not what we look for in a complete project.” Adjustments have been made to fix drainage on the bridge, Lentine added. 

The bridge is safe to travel across; however, “it’s not what we or the taxpayers pay for,” Lentine said. She continued to say the department is looking into several options on how to fix the remaining issues. 

“That’s why we went ahead and opened the bridge up, because it is safe to drive on – to allow traffic to flow and the public to use it while we’re still going through this period of doing some research and making decisions about what’s going to happen to the bridge,” Lentine said. 

Lentine said NCDOT may have a decision in about a week, and that decision will determine how long the bridge will be two lanes. 

Caton Construction Group is the contractor for the bridge project, and will continue to be until the project is completed, Lentine said. 

“NCDOT wants to complete this project as quickly as possible. We want to give everybody a good product, and make sure that’s it going to be something that lasts years to come,” Lentine said.