$1.5 million contract awarded to replace bridge in Matthews Friday, March 09, 2012

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 obsolete.

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 NCDOT estimates.

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.

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