Bridge repair under way

A stretch of N.C. 16 Business near downtown Conover will be closed at night for much of January as workers repair a bridge over U.S. 70.

N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) said U.S. 70 will also be closed three or four times at night during work on the bridge.

"They're doing a heat-straightening of some beams," said Michael Poe, an NCDOT district engineer for Catawba and Lincoln counties. "According to contract, the contractor is supposed to complete the project in 20 consecutive days from the beginning, and they are restricted to night work from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m."

Repair work began Jan. 4, Poe said, and contractors won't be allowed to close U.S. 70 for more than five nights.

Signs along N.C. 16 Business through Newton and Conover alert drivers to the road closure and provide detour routes during the project.

NCDOT officials say work will repair damage caused by vehicle crashes into the bridge. According to NCDOT information, the project is funded by the state.

I-40 bridge work to begin

Poe also said a project to replace the N.C. 16 Business bridge over Interstate 40 north of downtown Conover is slated to begin this month.

He said discussions about contract provisions have delayed many federal projects, including the I-40 bridge replacement, but many of those projects are now on schedule. According to NCDOT information, the bridge replacement project will be federally funded.

The bridge over I-40 will be demolished, and eastbound and westbound lanes of I-40 will close periodically during the project, NCDOT officials have said. N.C. 16 drivers will also be detoured during the replacement.