The N.C. Department of Transportation is closing the Bethlehem Church Road bridge over Long Creek this afternoon. It is west of Prince Road near Aquadale.
NCDOT engineers determined the bridge is not safe for drivers during an inspection of the structure.
If a bridge is found to have safety issues or structural concerns, NCDOT immediately takes action. Depending on the issue, the department may post a weight limit on the bridge, make repairs right away or close the bridge until repairs can be made. Traffic will not be allowed on a bridge that is unsafe.
The one-lane bridge was built in 1950 and reconstructed in 1982 and carries an average of 220 vehicles per day.
The bridge is currently scheduled for replacement in 2023, but the department is exploring ways to accelerate the project.
While the bridge is closed, traffic will follow a 4.3-mile detour using Bethlehem Church Road, Barbees Grove Road, N.C. 138 and Old Aquadale Road.
Advanced warning signs will be posted to alert drivers to the closure.