RALEIGH — Travelers in northwestern Wilkes County soon will
be driving on a new bridge over the Middle Fork Reddies River. A
$464,887 contract has been awarded to James R. Vannoy & Sons Construction
Co. of Jefferson by the N.C. Department of Transportation to replace the Kuenzel-Eller
Drive bridge near Old N.C. 16 between Wilbar and Daylo. Work can begin as early
as May 17 and will be completed by April 14, 2014.
Traffic will be maintained on the existing
bridge during construction as the new bridge will be built downstream.
The bridge was built in 1963 and is
deemed both functionally obsolete and structurally deficient. This does not
mean the bridge is unsafe, but there are elements of the bridge that need to be
monitored to maintain its structural integrity, and its layout no longer meets
current design standards for width, shoulders or railings. The new bridge will
be able to accommodate larger vehicles.
This is one of 15 contracts
totaling $67.6 million awarded by NCDOT in April for highway and bridge
projects across North Carolina. NCDOT awarded the contracts to the lowest
bidders, as required by state law. The bids received on the projects awarded
came in about 4.1 percent, or $2.9 million, below NCDOT estimates.