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Improvements Eyed on Western NC Bridge

Asheville - A two-lane bridge over the Tuckasiegee River just off U.S. 74 needs repairs.

The N.C. Department of Transportation will determine the extent of those repairs during an inspection this week that will require the bridge to be closed during portions of the next three days.

The Wilmont Cemetery Bridge, located about halfway between exits for Sylva and Whitter on U.S. 74, will be closed from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. for three straight days starting Tuesday, Oct. 4.

"It's a tricky intersection even in the best of conditions," said Division 14 Bridge Engineer Chris Lee. "We are going to assess the bridge deck as well as the substructure and beams. We're going to see what kind of work it would take."

Bridge assessments and projects like this currently underway across the state are part of Governor McCrory's 25-Year Vision for transportation in North Carolina to enhance travel safety and to better connect North Carolinians to jobs, education, healthcare and recreation opportunities.

In this case, the assessment team will utilize a hydra platform - a truck that extends scaffolding to the underside of the bridge - to prepare their report. Lee and his team will then develop the next best step, which likely includes creating a master plan to improve the bridge deck, its structure and perhaps additions to U.S. 74 in the area.

Digital message boards have been placed on U.S. 74 alerting motorists of the closure. Conley's Creek Road and Barker's Creek Road provide local resident two options for detours.

For real-time travel information, visit the Traveler Services section of NCDOT.gov or follow NCDOT on Twitter.

***NCDOT***

2/19/2018 7:47 AM