Project Overview and Purpose
Planning is underway to replace the Perquimans River Bridge and make improvements to a stretch of road between Herford and Winfall in Perquimans County.
The existing causeway is settling unevenly due to poor soil under the roadway, and the bridge across the Perquimans River, known as the "S-Bridge," is weakening due to its age.
Proposed work involves improvements along U.S. 17 Business from the south end of the Perquimans River Bridge in Hertford to the intersection of U.S. 17 Business and N.C. 37 in Winfall – a distance of approximately 0.4 miles.
The N.C. Department of Transportation is in the process of refining the design to replace the "S Bridge" (Bridge No. 8) over the Perquimans River on U.S. 17 Business/Church Street in Hertford. The department's preferred alternative – the recommended design – is Alternative B, which involves building a new swing-span bridge next to the current bridge.
Alternative B was selected because the Town of Hertford, the Town of Winfall and Perquimans County all currently support it. It is also expected to have less effect on the Hertford Historic District – which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places – than the Alternative D-Mod, the previously preferred alternative. Alternative D-Mod would have built a high-rise bridge that tied into Church Street near the existing bridge.
Finding of No Significant Impact Completed
In January 2018, NCDOT completed State Finding of No Significant Impact, an environmental document which found the project would have no significant impact on the environment.
Design–Build Contract Awarded
In December 2017, the N.C. Department of Transportation awarded a design-build contract to McClean Contracting Co. to build the Perquimans River Bridge.
Design and permitting is expected to take about a year to complete. Construction could start as early as June 2019. Based on McClean's schedule, the bridge is expected to open to traffic by the summer of 2021.
The design-build method allows the design, environmental permitting, utility relocation and construction to take place under one contract, which reduces overall construction time, helps the department avoid cost inflation, lessens environmental impact and alleviates driving delays for motorists.
Preferred Alternative Selected
In August 2016, following additional coordination with local governments and the State Historic Preservation Office, NCDOT made the decision to proceed with Alternative B, instead of Alternative D-Mod, because it is expected to have less effect on the Hertford Historic District.
Another Alternative Sought
After the State Historic Preservation Office expressed concerns regarding the effect of Alternative D-Mod on the Hertford Historic District, a second review of the project in January 2015 resulted in a determination that Alternatives B and D-Mod would have an “adverse effect” on the Hertford Historic District.
Following a July 2014 meeting, NCDOT representatives received comments and petitions expressing support for Alternative B. Town and county governments express support for Alternative B, as well.
NCDOT refined the designs of both Alternatives B and D-Mod, further reducing impacts in the Hertford Historic District.
Initial Alternative Identified
The environmental assessment for the project was completed in February 2013, and NCDOT held a public hearing in September 2013. Three alternatives were presented at the hearing.
Following the hearing, NCDOT selected Alternative D-Mod as the preferred alternative. At the time, Alternative D-Mod was expected to have “no adverse effect with commitments” on the Hertford Historic District.
Following selection of Alternative D-Mod, the public expressed concerns about the alternative as well as Alternative E.
The process to develop alternatives to study began in September 2007. NCDOT screened a combination of six bridge types on seven alignments. They were narrowed to nine concepts to be presented to the public in April 2010.
As part of the planning process, the N.C. Department of Transportation is coordinating with the U.S. Coast Guard about the navigation needs on the river in the project area, which could be affected by the U.S. 17 Business swing-span bridge replacement. Boat owners are invited to fill out the survey below:
Please mail completed surveys to:
421 Fayetteville Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
Comments will be received until May 22, 2017.
NCDOT has previously reached out to the public through newsletters and postcards, three meetings with small groups, and citizens informational workshops/public meetings in April 2010, June 2011, August 2012 and November 2014.
|Environmental Assessment approved
|State Finding of No Significant Impact
|Right of way acquisition and construction begins through the design-build process
|Construction begins through the design-build process
* Future dates are preliminary and subject to change
John Conforti, REM
Assistant Project Manager
Central Project Delivery Team
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Resources for Local Property Owners
Although the N.C. Department of Transportation works to minimize the number of homes and businesses displaced by a road project, it is inevitable, in many cases, that a certain amount of private property is needed. The following information explains right of way acquisition and answers questions about the process.