U.S. 70 Business/West Market Street Bridge Replacement One Month Update Tuesday, October 30, 2012

RALEIGH — Just over one month ago, the N.C. Department of Transportation closed the bridge on U.S. 70 Business/West Market Street over the Neuse River in downtown Smithfield for a replacement project. The bridge will be closed to traffic for approximately 240 days, or the equivalent of eight months. The bridge is still on track to open within the original time frame.

Since the closure in September, crews with Smith-Rowe LLC of Mount Airy, the subcontractor hired to demolish the bridge, have removed about half the concrete barrier rail on the existing bridge, as well as two of the six spans.  

Sandbags have been placed in the river from the west bank to around the middle bent, which is the structure of columns and piles that supports the bridge deck. The sandbags enable crews to pump out water from around the bridge, allowing for the removal of the existing bridge deck and bent. This will also give crews an area to work when drilling shafts (or columns) for the new structure.

D.H. Griffin Construction Co. is currently working on construction of a temporary work bridge, which must be complete before construction of the new bridge can begin. The temporary work bridge is expected to be complete by mid-November, weather permitting. The work bridge will have steel piles driven into the river that will be 35 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 caution when approaching this area of the Neuse River.

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.

For more information, as well as pictures of the demolition and construction progress, 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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