U.S. 70 Business/West Market Street Bridge in Smithfield to Close Tonight for Replacement Tuesday, September 25, 2012

RALEIGH — Starting tonight after 8 p.m., weather permitting, the N.C. Department of Transportation will close the bridge on U.S. 70 Business/West Market Street over the Neuse River in downtown Smithfield so it can be replaced. The bridge will be closed to traffic for approximately 240 days, or the equivalent of eight months.

A $5.3 million contract was awarded to D.H. Griffin Construction Co. of Raleigh in March for the project, which includes replacing the five-lane bridge that was constructed in 1923 with a new bridge that also includes five lanes, as well as a six-foot wide pedestrian walkway on the north side and a 10-foot wide multi-use path on the south side to accommodate bicycle and pedestrian traffic.

Crews began setting up operations near the bridge earlier this month so that work can begin as quickly and efficiently as possible once the bridge is closed. After the bridge closes tonight, law enforcement will be in place to make sure that traffic is redirected onto detour routes.

A moratorium is in effect that prevents work from taking place in the river prior to Oct. 1. In order for demolition to begin once the moratorium is lifted, crews will begin work tomorrow morning removing the surface of the bridge and clearing debris, as well as saw cutting and grinding off concrete along the bridge.

Construction of a temporary work bridge in the river will also begin Oct. 1. The work bridge will have steel piles driven into the river that will be thirty-five feet apart. Steel girders will be approximately 12 feet above water, with exact height varying depending on rainfall amounts. Flashing lights and reflective panels will be in place on both sides of the bridge piles and trestle to warn river traffic of the bridge clearance. All river traffic is urged to use safe boating practices and use caution when approaching this area of the Neuse River.

For more information, visit the project website at www.ncdot.gov/projects/smithfieldneuseriverbridge.

NCDOT reminds motorists to watch signs for construction information, stay alert and obey the posted speed limit.
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. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference. NCDOT Mobile is compatible with the iPhone, Android and some newer Blackberry phones.

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Smithfield Neuse River Bridge Replacement
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