HICKORY – Drivers planning to travel on U.S. 321 over the Catawba River should prepare for weekend delays during September.
A contractor for the N.C. Department of Transportation has scheduled three weekend closures this month to complete a critical rehabilitation project the U.S. 321 South bridge over the Catawba River.
Both directions of traffic will be placed in a one-lane pattern on the U.S. 321 North bridge over the lake. Drivers should anticipate delays going north or south as vehicles merge from two lanes into one lane.
The closure dates follow:
- From 7 p.m. on Friday Sept. 9 to 7 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 1
- From 7 p.m. on Friday Sept. 16 to 7 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 19
- From 7 p.m. on Friday Sept. 23 to 7 a.m. on Monday Sept. 26
Closing the bridge is necessary for contract crews to safely perform the work while traffic safely crosses between Caldwell and Catawba counties.
“The most efficient way to conduct these necessary operations is to move all traffic onto the U.S. 321 North bridge,” Division 11 Engineer Michael Poe said. “We understand this will cause delays for three weekends. The benefit is that all drivers will have a smooth bridge surface that will safely serve commuters and visitors alike.”
Crews from NHM Construction will utilize the closures to remove the existing surface and replace it with a latex modified concrete. These operations are part of a $1.9 million bridge preservation project that will extend the service life of the bridge.
A temporary crossover has been constructed to facilitate the upcoming rehabilitation. Crews have already completed about 75 percent of the necessary work under the bridge, including a majority of beam repairs, bolt repairs and painting. The contract currently calls for completion of all work by Nov. 30.
Transportation officials remind drivers to merge early, obey all posted traffic signs and to drive with caution, awareness and kindness.