ELIZABETHTOWN – The N.C. Department of Transportation needs to reduce the U.S. 701 South bridge to one lane next week to safely conduct a routine inspection.
Because highway traffic is already in a two-way pattern on the two-lane bridge, drivers from each direction will need to take turns crossing the Cape Fear River under flagging operations.
The lane reductions are scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. July 20-22, when NCDOT employees will perform the biennial inspection.
Drivers should slow down and allow for more time reaching their destination.
The NCDOT closed the U.S. 701 North bridge last fall for safety reasons after past hurricane flooding moved a bent, or concrete pile, that makes up the substructure. The department shifted the northbound traffic into a single lane on the southbound bridge.
The Federal Highway Administration approved the department’s plan this spring to replace both bridges with a single, four-lane structure. The construction will be phased, meaning two lanes will be open for traffic throughout the project. The construction timeline has not been finalized yet.