The N.C. Department of Transportation
will close a section of N.C. 96 north of Selma in Johnston County on Tuesday, Sept. 3, so crews can replace the bridge over Buffalo Creek. N.C. 96 will be closed to through traffic between Little Divine Road and Old Moore Road for 120 days. During the closure, through traffic will use Little Divine Road, N.C. 39 and Old Moore Road to travel around the construction site. Local traffic will be able to use N.C. 96; however, they will not be able to cross the bridge location. A map of the bridge location and detour route is attached to this release.Because of the condition of the bridge, which was constructed in 1951, NCDOT posted a weight limit restricting single axle vehicles weighing more than 33 tons and trucks weighing more than 41 tons from using the bridge. The new bridge will meet current design standards and will not have posted weight limits. This replacement is part of a $10.4 million express design-build contract awarded to S.T. Wooten Corp. of Wilson earlier this year to replace 12 bridges in Johnston County with new bridges by late 2015. Express design-build allows construction to go from zero to completion in just eight months for each bridge. This is more efficient than traditional design-build for less complex projects that do not require additional right of way. The design-build method allows the design, environmental permitting, utility relocation and construction to take place at the same time, under one contract. This method reduces overall construction time, helps the department avoid cost inflation, allows the contractor to make innovations that save taxpayers money, lessen environmental impact and alleviate driving delays for motorists. Motorists are advised to use caution while traveling in the area and to expect delays. NCDOT reminds motorists to watch signs for construction information, stay alert and obey the posted speed limit. For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twitter at www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter. Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type "m.ncdot.gov" into the browser of your smartphone. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference. NCDOT Mobile is compatible with the iPhone, Android and some newer Blackberry phones.