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The project will replace the U.S. 52 North and South bridges over Liberty Street and the Norfolk Southern Railroad Switching Yard in Winston-Salem. Crews will also widen Liberty Street, make ramp improvements to the U.S. 52 interchange with 25th and 28th streets and install new traffic signals.
News and Updates
After five months of construction, crews are taking the final steps needed to open the new U.S. 52 South bridge over Liberty Street in Winston-Salem to traffic. The remaining work includes connecting the new bridge to the highway by paving short sections of new concrete roadway on both ends of the bridge.
Crews will begin this process on Friday, Oct. 12, after 8 p.m. They will close the inside lane of U.S. 52 South from south of Akron Drive to just south of Liberty Street, as well as the 25th Street exit ramp (Exit 111A). The closures will enable crews to safely link the inside lane of the new bridge to the inside lane of U.S. 52 South. Weather permitting, the paving will take about two weeks to complete.
At that time, crews will reopen the inside lane, allowing traffic to flow across the new bridge for the first time, and close the outside lane of U.S. 52 South. The 25th Street exit ramp (Exit 111A) will remain closed. These closures will allow crews to link the outside lane of the new bridge to the outside lane of U.S. 52 South. Paving on the outside lane is scheduled to take about two weeks to complete, which is when crews will reopen the 25th Street exit ramp (Exit 111A).
With favorable weather, NCDOT plans to have traffic flowing on all lanes across the new U.S. 52 South bridge before Thanksgiving Day.
NCDOT expects the closures to create significant traffic congestion on U.S. 52 South. Motorists are strongly encouraged to take an alternate route to reach their destinations.
Traffic is now flowing smoothly across the new U.S. 52 North bridge over Liberty Street. It opened to traffic in late March. After the bridge opened, crews demolished the old northbound bridge.
Project Overview and Purpose
The northbound and southbound U.S. 52 bridges were built in 1964 and have sufficiency ratings of 46.9 and 45.7, respectively, on a 100-point scale. Despite the low ratings, the bridges are not unsafe. The ratings helped engineers determine the bridges’ ability to effectively remain in service. Based on bridge inspection results, traffic volumes and road widths compared to today’s traffic load, the bridges were deemed “structurally deficient” and in need of replacement. The new bridges will better meet the needs of today’s traveling public.
During the construction process, crews will replace only one bridge at a time. The contractor has installed a temporary bridge to allow two-lane traffic to flow in both directions through the work zone. The 500-foot metal bridge took about three months to construct.
This project will help the bridges last longer, and better accommodate the more than 90,000 vehicles that drive on them every day. Replacing the bridges will also help prepare Winston-Salem for the Business 40 Improvement Project in 2018. It will close 1.1 miles of Business 40 in downtown Winston-Salem for up to two years to make major renovations. Much of the traffic on Business 40 will be detoured along U.S. 52.
The $19 million contract for the U.S. 52 bridge replacement project was awarded to Blythe Construction Inc. of Charlotte. Work began in March 2010, with final completion set for 2013.
Additional work to improve U.S. 52 in Winston-Salem is currently under way. Click here to learn more about NCDOT’s efforts to streamline and repave parts of this important artery.
See video to learn how the closures will affect traffic
Resources for Local Property Owners
In many cases, it is inevitable that a certain amount of private property must be acquired. The displacement of homes and businesses is minimized to the extent practicable. The following brochures will answer questions about this process.