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Old Bridge Torn Out and Emergency-Access Bridge in Place Near Hound Ears Club


These two pictures were taken on Tuesday after the old bridge has already been torn out, while the photos below were taken prior to the old bridge being removed. Photos by Ken Ketchie

By Jesse Wood

The old bridge over Lance Creek near Hound Ears Club is already torn out and a temporary bridge, which is only open to emergency vehicles, is in place while Vannoy and Sons constructs the new bridge.

N.C. Department of Transportation announced the months-long closure of the 54-year-old bridge and a portion of Shulls Mill Road last week: “Motorists are urged to use Old Turnpike Road, a 2.8-mile loop that connects to Shulls Mill on both ends, as a detour around the 54-year old bridge, which bisects the golf course.”

The bridge replacement is expected to cost $717,000.

The detour is expected to be in place until Jan. 15, although the entire project won’t be complete until later, according to Doug Eller, NCDOT Division 11 Resident Engineer.

By May, all of the paving is contracted to be complete and then an observation period will be in place until October to ensure the vegetation is established before the NCDOT takes back maintenance of the road.

As for the emergency bridge, Eller said that NCDOT worked with emergency management officials and determined that this project called for emergency access because of the length of the detour, Old Turnpike Road being a dirt road and the timeframe of the project.

“We felt it was needed to put in an emergency access,” Eller said.