has arrived for frustrated
motorists who had not been able to use the St. Matthews Church Road Causeway in
Rowan County. One lane of traffic re-opened last
week for drivers.
The road was closed in September 2013 after N.C. Department of Transportation
work crews discovered large cracks in the pavement. An investigation late last
year confirmed that the foundation of the 85-year-old causeway was crumbling. It was determined the causeway needed to be
widened to support the traffic.
After the community, emergency response agencies and
Rowan County elected officials said the closure was impacting safety and
commerce in the area, the Department found a way to safely open one lane of traffic, controlled by a temporary traffic
signal on each end of the causeway-for use by local traffic and emergency vehicles
until permanent repairs can be made.
The Board of Transportation approved $200,000 in
statewide contingency money which
were used to install the two temporary traffic signals and barriers which allowed
the road to reopen. Commercial vehicles are still prohibited from using the
road to minimize further damage.
The causeway will be monitored for future damages while
the roadway is open, and NCDOT workers will
continue to keep the safety of the citizens as their first priority.