Winston-Salem - Repairs to multiple beams under the Akron Drive bridge over U.S. 52 are expected to start in early August. The outside lanes of the bridge in both directions have been closed since July 6 when it was struck by a tractor trailer carrying a piece of construction equipment that was above the clearance height.
Very few companies in the United States can do the type of repair that is needed, using a specialized method known as "heat straightening". Crews heat the steel beams to as much as 1,000 degrees and then use jacks to slightly adjust them, then let the beams cool down. The process requires numerous adjustments to return the beams to their original shape.
One of those companies that uses this method is currently working on another bridge in the state, and is expected to switch over to the Akron Drive bridge as soon as its current project is completed. Once work begins, it is expected to take 10 to12 days to complete the repairs.
When the contractor starts work, a lane of traffic in the southbound direction of U.S. 52 will be closed. In order to lessen the impact to motorists, the contractor will do its work at night, between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Motorists need to use caution when near the work zone, paying extra attention to traffic signs and slowing down.