Cashie Bridge construction begins Oct. 12

Published 7:56 pm Monday, September 28, 2009

WINDSOR – The replacement of the Cashie River Bridge here is slated to begin October 12.

On that date, the eastbound lane of U.S. 17/N.C. 308 will close to the public and the westbound lane will become a two-way traffic lane as construction begins on the new bridge.

The current bridge over the Cashie River in Windsor is structurally deficient, making the replacement necessary.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has two choices in the replacement of the bridge. They were to close it completely or to close one lane and then the other. DOT decided to replace the bridge one lane at a time because of requests from the town.

“The main reason we did it this way is the town thought it would be too disruptive to the town’s people and businesses,” said DOT Resident Engineer Shawn Mebane.

“We’re pleased DOT opted to leave one lane open,” said Windsor Town Administrator Alan Castelloe. “They had a choice and we are happy because the bridge provides a valuable link to the two sections of town.”

Castelloe said it was especially important for people to be able to get from the downtown area to Bertie Memorial Hospital and other healthcare facilities on the north side of the bridge.

Mebane said construction was slated to begin on October 12 and all traffic would be shifted to the westbound lane on that day. Temporary traffic signals will be installed to direct traffic.

It is expected that the one-lane, two-way traffic pattern will be needed until approximately May of 2011.

“Delays to local traffic should be minor,” Mebane said.

Castelloe encouraged citizens to be patient during the construction process.

“It will be a difficult process at times, but it will be worth it when the bridge is complete,” the town administrator said. “It may be a burden to travel back-and-forth, but it is necessary to replace an unsafe bridge.”

Trucks will be routed to the U.S. 17 bypass which will take them around the town of Windsor. As for those travelling N.C. 308 South, they will detour to the Wakelon Road onramp to the bypass and then go back to N.C. 308. Those travelling north will take the U.S. 17 bypass to the Wakelon Road exit and then travel back to Cooper Hill Road which will return them to N.C. 308.

During the construction of the new bridge, Castelloe said town services would continue on a normal schedule.

“It will not be as easy as it has been, but we’ll provide town services in a similar manner to what we’ve been used to,” he said. “Moving back and forth may be a more difficult process during the construction period.”

Boaters will not be allowed in the construction area, according to NC DOT. Mebane did say, however, that the bridge replacement would have limited impact on boaters in the area.

The public will be informed when the eastbound lane is complete and construction shifts to the westbound lane, according to Mebane.