Staff photo by Cole Dittmer
Westbound traffic traveling over the Heide Trask Drawbridge on Monday, Feb. 10, is diverted to one lane on the north side of the bridge, which was previously closed as part of the ongoing renovation project.
The two center lanes of the Heide Trask Drawbridge opened during the weekend to traffic, but scheduled lane closures may still occur anytime through March 15.
There are also overnight closures scheduled in late February and early March as refurbishing work continues.
Wanda James, assistant resident engineer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation Burgaw office, said the project is about 95 percent complete.
“They’re supposed to open up all four lanes,” James said by telephone on Feb. 10. “We’re headed that direction. … We’ve got to do some more deck work, just minor stuff.”
Additional painting is scheduled, the bridge tender house is incomplete and the machinery under the bridge needs to be changed.
Between now through March 15, lane closures can occur at any time. After March 15, lane closures can occur Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. Overnight lane closures are also planned for 11:30 p.m. to 5 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 23 through Wednesday, Feb. 26 and Sunday, March 2 through Wednesday, March 5, weather permitting.
Two and a half years after its October 2011 beginning, the $8 million project is aiming for a March 31 completion date.
After completion of this portion of the project, NCDOT and American Bridge Company, the contractor, will sit down to discuss a timeline extension for added work.
“We added on quite a bit of work to this contract,” James said, citing the $2.25 million for painting and steel refurbishing. “We’re just going to try to wrap this up and finish up the project and make sure we have a good project when we finish.”
Town manager Tim Owens said the contractor has yet to pour middle aisle concrete.
“We’re hoping that it’s done once the weather starts getting warm,” Owens said.