Published 8:31 am Thursday, July 24, 2014
WINTON – As is often the case with major road construction projects, motorists find themselves facing detours.
The current project that involves widening US 13 / US 158 from just south of Winton to Tar Heel in Gates County will present such a detour beginning next week.
According to a local official with the Ahoskie office of the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the contractor performing the US 13 / US 158 project will temporarily close a portion of NC 45, near its intersection with US 13/158, for the next two to three weeks.
That closure, to begin on Monday, July 28, is necessary for the contractor to work to join the north and south sides of the new overpass that will eventually take US 13 traffic across NC 45.
In an effort to affect the least amount of traffic, the work and the road closure will occur nightly between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.
“The contractor will be building two bridges at that overpass,” said Scott Emory, District Field Engineer for NC DOT’s Ahoskie office. “The work will involve setting up the equipment in the middle of the road to set the girders in place that will support the bridges.”
Emory said the initial discussion about how to handle that particular part of the project was to perform the work during the daylight hours, keeping one lane open and having a flagman direct the traffic around the work site.
“That plan was okay, but we got to thinking about how the traffic light there at Highway 13 would impact the flow of that traffic on Highway 45,” Emory stated. “What we didn’t want to see was congestion due to vehicles stopped on Highway 45 waiting to be flagged through the work site and have that line of vehicles backed up through the stop light. That would cause a big mess.
“Doing this at night, when the traffic is lighter, will be an inconvenience to those who use that road at that time of the night, but in the bigger picture it eases the congestion of a higher volume of traffic that use that road during the daylight hours.”
The detour will involve US 13 and NC 461 (the Oak Villa area). Message boards will be in place advising motorists of the closure times as well as detour signage to direct motorists around the work site.
Motorists using only US 13 (north and south) or US 158 (east and west) will not be impacted by this particular portion of the project.
Emory said other nighttime closures are anticipated at that same location in October and again in December.