Starting in mid-November, the N.C. Department of Transportation
will close down a section of N.C. 210 in Johnston County for the replacement of two bridges just west of Smithfield. The road is scheduled to be closed for eight months.The closure is necessary for crews with S.T. Wooten Corp. of Wilson to replace two bridges over Swift Creek and the Swift Creek overflow. Both bridges were constructed in 1934 and are classified as Functionally Obsolete, which means they were built to design standards that are no longer in use. The new bridges will be built to modern design standards.NCDOT and S.T. Wooten Corp. are currently finalizing plans for the project, including narrowing down a start date for mid-November. The exact date is dependent upon the completion of utility work and will be announced once it is finalized. During the closure, through traffic on N.C. 210 will use U.S. 70 Business/Market Street, Swift Creek Road and Cleveland Road as a detour route around the closure. Local traffic will be able to use N.C. 210, but will not be able to cross the bridges. Message boards will be put in place near the intersection of N.C. 210 and U.S. 70 Business/Market Street, and at the intersection of N.C. 210 and Swift Creek Road to alert traffic of the upcoming closure. These replacements are part of a $10.4 million express design-build contract awarded to S.T. Wooten Corp. in 2013 to replace 12 bridges in Johnston County with new bridges by late 2015. To date, eight of the 12 bridges in Johnston County have been replaced, including 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. The bridge on Old Beulah Road is currently under construction and is expected to open in mid-November, weather permitting. 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.