Girders Installed on New Smithfield U.S. 70 Business/West Market Street Bridge in Johnston County - Bridge replacement project at halfway point Wednesday, January 16, 2013

RALEIGH — A new year means new milestones met on the construction of the U.S. 70 Business/West Market Street bridge over the Neuse River in downtown Smithfield. The entire bridge replacement project is now halfway complete.

This week, crews finished installing girders for the new bridge. A girder is a long beam that extends across the span of the bridge and supports the bridge deck. There are a total of nine girders for each of the three spans of the bridge, totaling 27 girders. Once the girders were in place, crews began installing diaphragms between each of the girders for support.

Starting next week, weather permitting, crews will begin construction of the bridge deck. In addition to this work, crews are also currently installing piping on the north side of the bridge that will be part of the bridge’s drainage network.

The N.C. Department of Transportation awarded a $5.3 million contract to D.H. Griffin Construction Co. of Raleigh in March 2012 for the replacement of the 89-year-old bridge. Crews closed the original bridge to traffic on the night of Sept. 25 and the new bridge is on schedule to open in the spring of 2013.

The contract included plans to replace the five-lane bridge 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 bridge replacement, visit the project website.

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 or follow NCDOT on Twitter at  Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type “” 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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