SHELBY -The new N.C. 268 bridge opened to traffic today, two months ahead of an already expedited schedule tocompletethe bridge replacement project in Pilot Mountain.
Representatives from theN.C. Department of Transportation, project contractor Smith-Rowe and the town of Pilot Mountain held a ribbon cutting to officially open the bridge. NCDOT and Smith Rowe announced in late Julythat they planned to complete the bridge on an accelerated schedule and would have traffic on the bridge by the end of December. Before the expedited schedule, the bridge was scheduled to open in June 2015.
"Opening the bridge two months ahead of our expedited schedule wouldn't have been possible without the collaborative efforts of Smith-Rowe, the town of Pilot Mountain and NCDOT," said Mike Pettyjohn, division engineer of NCDOT's Division 11. "We are so pleased to have a new bridge for the residents and visitors who travelthrough this area each day."
The new bridge onN.C. 268 (Key Street) over U.S. 52 is wider than the previousbridge and has pedestrian-friendly sidewalks. There is also enough room to accommodatebike lanes, if they're added in the future.
"Smith-Rowe would like to thank the residents and businesses of Pilot Mountain for their understanding and support during the construction of this project," saidJody Phillips, Smith-Rowe vice-president."We also appreciate the planning and hard work of our crews and NCDOT, whichmade it possible to complete the new bridge ahead of schedule. The N.C.268 bridge project is a fine example of success through teamwork!"
Although the bridge is now approved for traffic, motorists could notice crews working on the bridge to finish up some final tasks. Before the project is completely finished, the bridge will be stained and decorative Pilot Mountain medallions will be added.
Any future traffic impacts, however, will be minor.