21 bridges to be replaced, repaired in four counties
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LEXINGTON, N.C--The state department of transportation says 21 aging bridges in a four-county area are headed for replacement or repair. NCDOT has awarded nearly $21 million to three contractors to do the work including replacing a well-traveled bridge in Lexington.
The Center Street bridge over Abbott's Creek and another bridge nearby over Talbert Boulevard are among 10 in Davidson, Forsyth, Rowan and Stokes counties that NCDOT will replace. Eleven others will be repaired, but the Center Street bridge was not a good candidate for a fix.
"Usually, repair is an option when you have a good structure under it but the deck just needs some repair work to it,” said resident engineer Dale Swicegood. “This one the supports and all are in need of repair, as well, so it was just the economically wise decision to go ahead and put a new structure up here."
The bridge was built in 1951 and there are lots of bridges at, or around, the six-decade mark.
"This is about the average age of the bridges that we're replacing nowadays,” said Swicegood. “Most of the ones seem to have been built in the late 40s to early to mid-50s, so, it's long about the time to be replaced, as well."
NCDOT will close the 200-ft. bridge August 6 to allow for the start of demolition. Its replacement and the creek below will benefit from modern construction techniques.
"This one actually has seven supports holding the bridge up,” Swicegood said. “The new one will only have four. So, it'll be a little less impact to the creek and the flood plain area, as well."
Swicegood said while safety was not an issue on this bridge, replacing it would benefit the hundreds of drivers who use it every day.
"The new bridge will be approximately eight feet wider than the existing one,” he said. “A new roadway, new guard rails and all (will) make everything much safer for the traveling public."
Swicegood said the new bridge would cost $1.9 million and would would open in late May 2013.