NCDOT to Begin Preservation Work on U.S. 52 Bridge Over Waughtown Street in Winston Salem Wednesday, September 18, 2013

(Editor’s note: NCDOT Resident Engineer Wright Archer will hold a media availability Friday, Sept. 20 at 9:30 a.m. at the Division 9 office located at 375 Silas Creek Parkway in Winston-Salem to discuss the project.)

RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Transportation will begin preservation work next week on the bridge that carries U.S. 52 over Waughtown Street in Winston-Salem. The work will preserve the bridge deck and extend the lifespan of the bridge by 20 years.

“Bridge preservation projects like this one are necessary to ensure the continued safety and viability of our transportation infrastructure," said NCDOT Division 9 Engineer Pat Ivey. “This type of work will allow us to make the best use of limited resources to protect and maintain the roadways that connect our communities.”

To rehabilitate and preserve the 42-year-old bridge, crews will use high-powered jets of water to remove the deteriorated concrete from the bridge deck. Once the hydro-demolition process is complete, crews will place a layer of latex-modified concrete on the bridge’s driving surface. These enhancements will improve the ride quality for motorists, as well as help the bridge last longer by sealing and protecting the deck and substructure from water damage.

At 8 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 23, weather permitting, crews will close the right lane of U.S. 52 North to begin the preservation work. The lane will remain closed for the duration of the work, which is expected to last for approximately 10 days. The left lane of U.S. 52 North will remain open to traffic during this time. Once work on the right lane is completed, crews will close the left lane of U.S. 52 North to repeat the 10-day process.

After both lanes of northbound U.S. 52 are completed, crews will begin preservation work on U.S. 52 South. The left lane will be closed first, followed by the right lane. The entire bridge preservation project is expected to take about 40 days and will be completed by Saturday, Nov. 2.

While the extended lane closures will impact travel during the preservation project, they are necessary to ensure the best final ride quality and long-term performance of the concrete overlay.  
“Better results are achieved when the preservation work is completed one lane at a time, while that lane is closed to traffic, rather than in shorter sections under nightly lane closures,” said Ivey.  “By phasing the work this way, the final driving surface will be much smoother and will require less maintenance over the life of the new concrete overlay.”

During the work, motorists may encounter lengthy delays, particularly during peak traffic periods.  Motorists on I-40 wishing to access U.S. 52 North should use Business 40 in order to avoid delays. Motorists are encouraged to watch construction signs for information and to allow additional time to reach their destinations.

This project is part of the department’s State-Funded Bridge Improvement Program to improve the overall condition of the state’s bridges. The department is investing $750 million over four years to strategically perform preservation or rehabilitation work when possible instead of just replacing bridges across the board. This approach enables NCDOT to extend the lifespan of existing bridges at a significant costs savings, stretching taxpayer dollars further and improving more bridges overall.   

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