It might be the start of construction season, but a major improvement project is getting ready to wrap up in Smithfield one month early. Beginning around 11 a.m. tomorrow, drivers will be able to use the new bridge on U.S. 70 Business/West Market Street over the Neuse River.The Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation will hold a brief ceremony at 10 a.m. to celebrate the opening of the bridge. Following the ceremony, crews will begin opening the westbound lanes of the bridge, and then the eastbound lanes. There are still several items that need to be done before the entire bridge replacement project is finished, including: Replanting vegetation; Repaving a section of the Smithfield Neuse Riverwalk under the bridge later this spring that was taken out during construction; and Completing the outside rails of the bridge later this spring, which will enable bicycle and pedestrian traffic to then use the six-foot wide pedestrian walkway on the north side of the bridge and 10-foot wide multi-use path on the south side. Some lane closures will be in place as this work is completed; however, the bridge will not close at any time for this work.The N.C. Department of Transportation awarded a $5.3 million contract to D.H. Griffin Construction Co. of Raleigh in March 2012 for the replacement of the 89-year-old bridge. Crews closed the original bridge to traffic on Sept. 25, 2012 and had eight months to open the new bridge to traffic. For more information, as well as pictures of the bridge replacement, visit the project website at www.ncdot.gov/projects/smithfieldneuseriverbridge.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.
Smithfield Neuse River Bridge Replacement