US 13 to hopefully reopen next week

Published 12:00 pm Friday, October 21, 2011

AHOSKIE – Just be patient….it’s only going to take a few days longer than anticipated.

The wait is nearly over for thousands of local and out-of-area motorists who use US 13 as their main thoroughfare as a local official with the North Carolina Department of Transportation is looking at Wednesday, Oct. 26 for the re-opening of the highway at the Stoney Creek bridges.

Those twin bridges, which span the main body and overflow area of the Ahoskie Creek, were scheduled to re-open this week.

“We had a day or two of rain recently that put us behind,” said DOT Resident Engineer Scott Emory who works in the Ahoskie office. “Our punch list is getting shorter and shorter. Barring any more weather delays, we’re shooting towards having the final inspection of the bridge and road work performed next Wednesday (Oct. 26). If that inspection is favorable, and I expect it will be, then we will open the road the same day.”

Emory said the final few inches of asphalt were applied Friday. The next step is to groove the bridge to allow for drainage. On Tuesday, Emory expects DOT paint crews to stripe the bridges and roadway.

All of the guardrail work is complete.

The road was closed June 27 to begin the $2.5 million project that completely replaced the bridges, both initially built in 1934. The two old spans were removed and new ones built in their place.

The bridge on the south side of the project (Powellsville end) moved from a 120-foot long span to one that is now 168 feet long. The one of the north side was 70 feet and is now 112 feet. Both bridges were also raised by two feet.

“That will help alleviate some flooding issues in the area,” Emory said. “It will give a little more drainage room.”

In addition, both bridges were expanded from 30 feet in width (rail to rail) to 33 feet.

Sanford Contractors performed the work.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal