Raleigh - Seven new bridges are on the way for Bladen, Cumberland and Robeson counties, thanks to a $5.4 million contract awarded by the N.C. Department of Transportation.
The bridges are located in:
Bladen County: N.C. 53 over Ellis Creek;
Bladen County: Mercer Mill Road over Hammonds Creek;
Cumberland County: Hollow Bridge Road between Beaver Dam Road and Mink Road;
Robeson County: Barker Ten Mile Road over Big Marsh Swamp;
Robeson County: South Robeson Road over Aaron Swamp;
Robeson County: Back Swamp Road over Lumber River; and
Robeson County: Mercer Mill Road over Jackson Swamp.
The seven bridges are each considered functionally obsolete and structurally deficient. This means they remain safe for travel, but are in deteriorating condition and need to be replaced. They were also built to design standards that are no longer used for bridges. The new bridges will meet future travel demands.
Replacing older and obsolete bridges to improve access through communities is a key part of Governor McCrory's 25-year transportation vision to better connect North Carolinians to jobs, education, healthcare and recreation. The 2016-17 state budget increases bridge repair and replacement funding by 58 percent, totaling $242 million.
Smith-Rowe LLC of Mount Airy was awarded the contract. Work on the bridges can begin as soon as Aug. 29 and will be completed by Oct. 15, 2019.
The work will be done using an express-design process, which allows the design, environmental permitting, utility relocation and construction to take place at the same time. This method reduces overall construction time, helps avoid cost inflation, and allows the contractor to make innovations that save taxpayer money, lessens environmental impacts and shortens driving delays for motorists.
This project is one of 12 road and bridge contracts recently awarded by the state transportation department, totaling $139.9 million. The contracts were awarded to the lowest qualified bidders, as required by state law.