By Jesse Wood
Oct. 12, 2012. If you travel through the Cove Creek area, you are aware of the road construction taking place above the river.
What has been built so far is just a temporary detour, so traffic is not impeded while the old bridge is torn down and the new permanent bridge is built in its place.
Assuming nothing extraordinary occurs, the temporary bridge will open today.
For the past two months, flaggers have been directing traffic while the temporary structure was being constructed. N.C. Department of Transportation Project Manager Doug Eller said flaggers will always be a possibility for the next year on the detour, but the utilization of the detour route “should eliminate the need for lane closure stops on a daily basis.”
Now, James R. Vannoy & Sons Construction Co. of Jefferson, which was awarded a $1.6 million contract from the N.C. DOT, will begin tearing down the old bridge and constructing the new structure. Most of that work, Eller said, will take place outside of the detour bridge.
The last day for the overall completion date is January 28, 2014. After the permanent new bridge is completed, the temporary structure will be torn down and landscaped.
According to a N.C. DOT press release, the [Cove Creek] bridge was initially built in 1936 and is deemed functionally obsolete. This does not mean the bridge is unsafe, but its layout no longer meets current design standards for width, shoulders or rails. The new bridge will be able to accommodate larger vehicles than the current bridge.