Elizabeth City - The N.C. Department of Transportation removed the last of the orange safety barrels from the U.S. 158/Elizabeth Street Bridge in Elizabeth City Friday, marking the completion of the final phase of the rehabilitation project and opening the bridge to full traffic flow.
The project, which began in 2011, included the rehabilitation of two bridges that cross the Pasquotank River. It has a number of unique design features, including the use of foam concrete materials and micro-pilings under the roadway.
Archer Western Contractors LLC rehabilitated the westbound bridge, constructed in the 1970s, as part of a $62.2-million project that also included reconstructing U.S. 158/Elizabeth Street through downtown Elizabeth City and replacing the eastbound bridge over the Pasquotank River. The new eastbound bridge opened to traffic in May 2015 and the reconstruction of U.S. 158/Elizabeth Street was completed late last year. The previous eastbound bridge at the same location had been built in the 1930s.
"I'd like to compliment the administration for making this much-needed investment in the Northeast," Division One Board Member Malcolm Fearing said. "Although this has been a complicated project, we are glad to see it has now been completed for motorists to enjoy."
The rehabilitation of the westbound bridge, which began soon after the eastbound bridge opened, included painting the drawbridge leaves on the east and west side of the river, pouring a new concrete deck overlay, rewiring controls and replacing brakes and motors for the drawbridge leaves.
"We are very glad that the bridge project has reached its completion, and wish to thank all of those who were responsible for making it happen." Division One Engineer Jerry Jennings said.
Bridge improvement projects like this one are underway across the state as part of Governor McCrory's 25-Year Transportation Vision to enhance travel safety and to better connect North Carolinians to jobs, education, healthcare and recreation opportunities.