ASHEVILLE – A bridge project over Interstate 240 originally scheduled for February is set to commence this weekend.
Traffic on I-240 will be diverted to the Brevard Road exit ramps and then back to the interstate this weekend while a N.C. Department of Transportation contractor replaces a beam under the Brevard Road bridge.
Traffic is being diverted to the ramps instead of under the bridge over the weekend to ensure driver safety and also to minimize commuter delays that could occur if the work were performed during the week.
Starting at 7 p.m. on Friday March 5, the contractor will begin the process of replacing the outside beam on the western side of the bridge. They will use heavy equipment to remove the existing beam, install a new one, and place traffic back on I-240 by 6 a.m. Monday morning.
An over-height vehicle struck the beam, and traffic on Brevard Road has been restricted from using the shoulder to limit weight on that beam. The private company that damaged the bridge will pay $139,000 for the repairs.
This work is weather-dependent and may be postponed. Drivers on I-240 and Brevard Road should expect some delay in this area over the weekend. Traffic signal timing at the ramp intersections will be adjusted to account for the diverted vehicles.
“We anticipate this to be a straight-forward operation,” Division 13 Resident Engineer Chris Deyton said prior to rescheduling. “Thankfully the detour, even with the potential for a few minutes of delay, is to simply exit the interstate, cross the road, and get back on the interstate.”
The operation was postponed from Feb. 19 when materials did not arrive in time to safely perform the work and have the interstate open to traffic by the morning of Feb. 22.
In addition to the onsite detour, drivers may use I-240 on the eastern side of Asheville as an alternate route. Drivers heading west on I-26 from south Asheville may take exit 31A to join I-40 East then take exit 53B to join I-240 West, then exit 4A to rejoin I-26 West. Drivers on I-26 East from north of Asheville may choose to take I-240 East to exit 9 to I-40 West, then take exit 46A to rejoin I-26 East.