Section of Westbound Western Boulevard to Close Overnight Next Week for Bridge Removal Friday, January 04, 2013

RALEIGH — Westbound lanes of Western Boulevard in Raleigh will be closed overnight next week where crews are working on a project to tear down the bridge at Hillsborough Street and realign that intersection.

The closure will be in place between Powell and Hillsborough Streets from 9 p.m. on Sunday until 6 a.m. on Monday. The same overnight closure schedule will be in effect  each night through next Friday morning. The closure is needed to allow the contractor to safely remove the bridge that carries Hillsborough Street over Western Boulevard as part of a $2.9 million project.

A signed detour will direct westbound drivers to turn right onto Powell Drive, go to Hillsborough Street, then turn left to get back to Western Boulevard.

There is already a detour in place for drivers going eastbound on Western Boulevard. Instead of using the bridge to access Hillsborough Street, they now stay on Western Boulevard, then turn left at Blue Ridge Road to get back to Hillsborough Street. That detour will remain in effect until the new intersection is complete next September.

The Hillsborough Street bridge is 70 years old and is considered functionally obsolete and structurally deficient. It was safe for travel, but was not built to current design standards and was unable to properly handle the volume of traffic it carried. It also required continual maintenance and needed to be replaced.

Since these are busy commuter and commercial routes for the area, the contractor is not allowed to close lanes on either Western Boulevard or Hillsborough Street during heavier traffic periods such as rush hour. Lane closures will also not be allowed during nearby special events at the State Fairgrounds, PNC Arena and Carter-Finley Stadium.

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