RALEIGH - Northbound lanes of U.S. 401 will be closed between Mechanical
Boulevard and U.S. 70 this weekend as work continues on an N.C. Department of
Transportation project to replace the U.S. 70/N.C. 50 bridge over U.S. 401 south of Raleigh.
The closure is from 9 p.m. on Friday to 6 a.m. Monday. It will allow
the contractor to safely complete storm drainage, paving and barrier work on
the section of U.S. 401 northbound that goes under the bridge being torn down.
Motorists will have a short detour, turning right on Mechanical
Boulevard, and then left to get back on U.S. 70/N.C. 50 toward Raleigh.
Dane Construction Inc. of Mooresville was awarded the $3 million contract
to replace the 61-year-old bridge, which is considered structurally deficient
and functionally obsolete. That means it is still safe for travel, but has been
in deteriorating condition and needs to be replaced, and that it was built to
design standards no longer used for bridges.
The new bridge will have a higher clearance height over U.S, 401, and
there will be wider shoulders on the roadway approaching the bridge. It will be
on a new location just west of the current bridge, eliminating the need for an
The new bridge is expected to be in place by Dec. 1, with additional
vegetation work completed by May 30, 2014.
Because of the traffic volume through this intersection, almost all
the work will be done at night. No lane closures are allowed on U.S. 401, U.S.
70 or Mechanical Boulevard between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays,
and between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Sundays. In addition to this weekend, there
will be other brief closures of U.S. 401 when the current bridge girders are
removed and new girders put in place. That work can only take place on weekends
between 9 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Monday.
This replacement project is part of the NCDOT's $450 million state-funded
bridge plan for 2011-13, which invests in preserving, repairing or replacing
bridges statewide. For more information on this plan, visit our Bridge
Improvement Program webpage.
NCDOT reminds motorists to watch signs for construction information,
stay alert and obey the posted speed limit. Updated travel information is also
available by calling 511 or online at www.ncdot.gov/travel. In
addition, NCDOT now offers travel information on Twitter.