RALEIGH — Crews
are working today to repair damage to the Peter Guice Bridge over the Green
River on Interstate 26 in Henderson County caused when a tractor trailer overturned
and caught fire on the bridge Tuesday night, spilling sulfuric acid. The
repairs are expected to be completed by the weekend depending on weather, which
will allow NCDOT to reopen the eastbound lanes of I-26.
Bridge inspectors have concluded the assessment of the
bridge for structural damage. The repairs will involve stripping off the top
layer of concrete from the bridge deck in order to remove the portion of the
deck that was exposed to extreme heat from the truck fire and saturated with
sulfuric acid. Core samples were taken to determine how much concrete needs to
be removed. Hydro-demolition, which involves the application of intense water
pressure, will be employed to remove any remaining concrete and provide a
better surface for the new concrete to bond.
A special kind of high-strength concrete will then be poured
and set, and the damaged guardrail will be replaced. This will conclude the
repairs and allow NCDOT to reopen the eastbound lanes of I-26.
The schedule for the repairs will be weather-dependent. At
this time, local forecasts are calling for a high percentage chance of rain. Plans
call for pouring the concrete this evening, but rain could delay the concrete
pour. NCDOT is optimistic it will have the interstate open by the weekend, and
will continue to keep the public updated as the repairs progress.
Motorists on I-26 East are being detoured via Exit 54 to
U.S. 25 South to S.C. 11 in South Carolina, turning left on S.C. 11 North to
return to I-26 East.
NCDOT encourages drivers to go slow, pay attention and allow
extra time to reach their destinations while the closure is in place.
For real-time travel information at any time, call 511,
visit www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twitter at www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter.
Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website.
To access it, type “m.ncdot.gov” into the browser of your smartphone and
bookmark it for future reference. NCDOT Mobile is compatible with the iPhone,
Android and some newer Blackberry phones.