RALEIGH — N.C.
Department of Transportation Secretary Gene Conti has awarded a $1.5 million
contract to Blythe Construction Inc. of Charlotte to replace a bridge on Sam
Newell Road in Matthews. The bridge, which carries traffic over Irvins Creek,
was built in 1945 and is considered structurally deficient and functionally
That means the bridge is safe, but has had to be monitored and
eventually it needed to be replaced. It also was built to lane width and other
standards that are no longer in use and replacing it will better serve current
and future traffic demands.
Since the current bridge is being removed to allow for the construction
of the new one, a detour will be in place during the project. It will send
traffic onto U.S. 74 and Margaret Wallace Road. In addition, to accommodate
traffic for nearby Crown Point Elementary School, there can’t be any lane
closures or narrowing on Sam Newell Road between 7:30 and 9 a.m., and 2:30 and
4 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
Work can begin as early as April 2, and its anticipated the new bridge
can be opened in August ahead of the start of the fall school year, although additional
work would be needed. The contract calls for completion by Sept. 15, although
the planting and vegetation portion of the project could take until March 2013.
This is one of 29 contracts totaling $167.9 million awarded by Secretary
Conti for highway and bridge projects across North Carolina. NCDOT awarded the
contracts to the lowest bidders, as required by state law. The bids received on
the projects awarded came in about 7.5 percent, or about $13.5 million, below
Since Gov. Bev Perdue took office in January of 2009, NCDOT has
awarded 540 highway contracts totaling $3.9 billion to ensure that all North
Carolinians have access to jobs and educational opportunities.
For more information
about funding for infrastructure improvements in North Carolina, as well as other NCDOT
projects and activities, visit www.ncdot.gov.