The N.C. Department of Transportation
is preparing to open the bridge on Old Beulah Road
in Johnston County over the Little River northwest of Micro on Monday, Dec. 8. This bridge replacement is the ninth to be completed as part of an overall project to replace 12 bridges in Johnston County by late 2015. A $10.4 million express design-build contract was awarded to S.T. Wooten Corp. of Wilson in 2013 for this work. Once the bridge on Old Beulah Road is open, crews will then shut down the bridge on Micro Road over Buffalo Creek north of Micro on Tuesday, Dec. 9. The new bridge is currently scheduled to be open to traffic in mid-April 2015, weather permitting. Because of its condition, NCDOT posted a weight limit restricting single-axle vehicles weighing more than 32 tons and trucks weighing more than 38 tons from using the bridge on Micro Road. The new bridge will meet current design standards and will not have posted weight limits. Micro Road will be closed at the bridge site with a detour in place. Through traffic will use Woodruff Road and Old Beulah Road to travel around the project site. Local traffic will be able to access the area; however, will not be able to cross the bridge. In addition to the bridge on Old Beulah Road, bridges on N.C. 96, Juniper Church Road, Benson-Hardee Road, Old Stage Road, Eldridge Road, Bizzell Grove Church Road, and two on Shoeheel Road have been replaced. Two bridges on N.C. 210 near Smithfield are scheduled to be replaced starting in January 2015.Express design-build allows construction to go from zero to completion in less time for each bridge. This is more efficient than traditional design-build for less complex projects. The express 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 the NCDOT traffic website or follow NCDOT on 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.