Asheville - A bridge over Old Millpond Lake in Granite Falls has been closed indefinitely after an initial inspection revealed some damage under the structure. The N.C. Department of Transportation immediately closed the bridge for safety purposes.
The initial examination of the bridge on Falls Avenue revealed three of four beams in one of the 12 spans of the bridge are damaged and a depression is visible. The cause of the damage has not been determined. The bridge was built in 1942 and currently has a concrete deck with steel beams and timber piles anchoring the base.
State transportation officials will do more inspections today and Thursday, and once again when water is drained from the lake to allow greater access to the piles.
Initial estimates have the bridge being closed for at least one month. A specific timeline will be scheduled once a plan for repair or replacement is finalized.
In the meantime, a detour has been set up around the bridge. When heading west, motorists should take the eight-mile route containing six turns: Heading north on Ike Starnes Road, left on Wyke Road, left on Dudley Shoals, right on Pinewood Road, left on U.S. 321 and left back to Falls Avenue. The reverse applies when starting west of the bridge.
The department reminds motorists to stay alert, slow down and use extra caution when utilizing detours.
For real-time travel information, visit the Traveler Services section of NCDOT.gov or follow NCDOT on Twitter.