RALEIGH - N.C. Department of Transportation
Secretary Gene Conti has awarded a $3.2 million contract to replace a bridge on U.S. 70 East over the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks north of Princeton. The contract was awarded to Fred Smith Co. of Raleigh.The bridge, which is located just east of the U.S. 70/U.S. 70 Alternate merge, was built in 1947 and is deemed functionally obsolete. This does not mean the bridge is unsafe, but that its layout no longer meets current design standards for width, shoulders or rails. U.S. 70 East will remain open to traffic during construction. Traffic on U.S. 70 East, which is two lanes, will be shifted onto the U.S. 70 West bridge with U.S. 70 West traffic, which is also two lanes, in a two-lane, two-way pattern. Motorists traveling on U.S. 70 East and U.S. 70 West should expect delays when approaching the bridge due to the reduction in lanes. This is one of 23 contracts totaling $246.7 million awarded by Conti following NCDOT's June contract letting for highway and bridge projects across North Carolina. NCDOT awarded the contracts to the lowest bidders, as required by state law. The bids received on the projects awarded came in about 5.9 percent, or $15.4 million, below NCDOT estimates. Gov. Bev Perdue's proposed budget continues to support an enhancing or expanding our transportation infrastructure. In doing so, Gov. Perdue continues to support immediate jobs in the construction sector and the goal of ensuring that our transportation network facilitates access to jobs, education and healthcare for the future.Since Gov. Perdue took office in January of 2009, NCDOT has awarded 654 highway contracts totaling $4.5 billion to ensure that all North Carolinians have access to jobs and educational opportunities.