Bridge replacement expected to begin soon

Work to replace the N.C. 16 bridge over Interstate 40 in Conover may begin as early as Feb. 27.

N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) awarded a $3.1 million contract to replace the bridge to Blythe Development Co., of Charlotte.
Work to replace the old bridge in its existing location is expected to be completed by Nov. 15.

All lanes of I-40 will remain open during construction, except during short periods of time at night when new girders are set.

The bridge was built in 1957, and transportation officials have deemed it both functionally obsolete and structurally deficient.

According to NCDOT, the bridge is currently safe, but its layout no longer meets current design standards for width, shoulders or rails.

The new bridge will be able to accommodate larger vehicles than the current bridge.

NCDOT established a detour route for drivers during the construction period.

Traffic on N.C. 16 will utilize County Home Road and 10th Street NW to avoid the bridge.

NCDOT awarded a total of 39 contracts totaling $203.2 million for state highway and bridge projects.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, every $1 million spent on transportation creates 30 jobs, and according to the construction industry, every dollar invested in transportation generates $6 in economic impact.