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Old Westfield bridge work delayed

Wendy Byerly Wood Associate Editor

September 13, 2013

PILOT MOUNTAIN — Parents and others using the Old Westfield Road bridge over Old U.S. 52 Bypass in Pilot Mountain won’t have to worry about a detour during the 2013-14 school year.


Plans by the North Carolina Department of Transportation originally were for contracts on the replacement of the bridge to be let in mid- to late June so that work could begin during the summer of 2013.


But Greg Johnston, assistant bridge program manager for District 11 of NCDOT, with includes Surry County, reported last week that the project was “delayed due to right of way issues and utility relocations.”


Four bridges are to be worked on in the coming months, and the Old Westfield Road overpass was to be the first one tackled. Johnston said NCDOT hopes to “have this project let to contract by mid-September, early October, but will have a date of availability to start construction after school has let out for summer due to concerns with school traffic.”


The hope is that the majority of the work can be completed during the summer break of 2014, he said. “I don’t think all the work will be able to be completed during the summer break, so the detour will have to be utilized starting in the 2014-2015 school year.”


A detour planned for the project, which will cut off a main road for people between Pilot Mountain and the heart of Westfield, will send drivers onto U.S. 52 north, then east on Cook School Road, and onto Matthews Road, which intersects with Old Westfield Road north of the bridge. Those traveling south would take Matthews Road, to Cook School Road, to U.S. 52, and then into town on the Old 52 Bypass.


Two other bridges that are scheduled for replacement are the N.C. 268 overpass at U.S. 52 and the Cook School Road bridge over U.S. 52.


“As of right now, we are still on track to receive the designs for the N.C. 268 bridge over U.S. 52 and Cook School bridge over U.S. 52 by December,” Johnston said. “If we receive those by December, we will let this contract in February. The N.C. 268 bridge will be completed first.”


In an interview in May, Johnston said both of the bridges will be upgraded to interstate standards, and they will be awarded on the same contract, with each bridge acting as the other’s detour.


Work also is planned on the Dodson Mill Road bridge over U.S. 52, which is about halfway between Cook School Road and N.C. 268 interchanges. This work will be the first to be done among the four bridge projects slated in the area.


Johnston said the Dodson Mill project is scheduled to be let to contract Sept. 19, with the date of availability to start the project Oct. 14. Its scheduled completion date is May 2, 2015.


“It will be rehabbed to raise the caps and deck to get more clearance, because it has been hit several times by tractor-trailers,” Johnston said in May.


The bridge is on the stretch of Dodson Mill Road that dead ends after it crosses U.S. 52. Several residences are located on the dead end portion of the roadway, so Johnston said plans are to work on one side of the bridge at a time, keeping one lane of traffic open for those needing access to the homes.


The surface of the bridge also will get rehabbed.


Reach Wendy Byerly Wood at wbyerly-wood@civitasmedia.com or at 719-1923.