RALEIGH — A project
to replace three bridges over I-95 near Dunn in Harnett County gets underway on Monday, Oct. 21, with the
scheduled closing of the Long Branch Road bridge at Exit 71 for 60 days. A contractor will use that time to replace the girders, bridge
deck and barrier rail on the 58-year-old structure.
Initially this project was intended to only repair the bridge deck and
replace girders on the three bridges to improve clearance for vehicles on I-95.
However, the contractor and DOT inspectors determined that all three bridges
needed more extensive repairs.
Several weeks ago, preliminary work was done on the roadway approaches
for the decks on both sides of I-95 for all three bridges. Damaged concrete was
chipped out and replaced, then an epoxy overlay was placed down to seal the
decks and prevent additional deterioration. Combined with the new decks that
will now be installed, motorists will enjoy a smoother ride. And traveling on I-95
will be safer with the higher clearance for vehicles.
The Long Branch Road bridge is considered functionally obsolete, which
means it was built to design standards that no longer can properly handle the
traffic volume for the bridge.
The bridge closing means there are slight detours for drivers.
Westbound drivers will be directed to travel one mile north on I-95, exit onto Spring
Branch Road (Exit 72), turn left to cross over the interstate and then get onto
I-95 South back to Long Branch Road. Eastbound drivers will turn onto I-95 South,
go two miles to Bud Hawkins Road (Exit 70), turn right to cross the interstate,
and then head onto I-95 North to return to Long Branch Road.
During each of the bridge projects, there could also be periodic night-time
closures of both the north and southbound I-95 lanes while demolition and
girder placement work is under way. During those closures, motorists will be
detoured onto the exit ramps, and sent back onto the interstate on the other
side of the bridge, but delays should be expected.
Once the new bridge opens, crews will move on to the structure on Pope Road
at Exit 72, followed by the Jonesboro Road bridge at Exit 75. Both bridges are
at least 58 years old.
NCDOT reminds motorists to watch signs for construction information,
stay alert and obey the posted speed limit. Updated travel information is also
available by calling 511 or online at www.ncdot.gov/travel.
In addition, NCDOT now offers travel information on Twitter.