May 14, 2014

Westbound lanes of Wright
Memorial Bridge now open

After closing in September, the westbound Wright Memorial Bridge on U.S. 158 over the Currituck Sound at the Currituck and Dare County line will reopen to traffic this morning.

The N.C. Department of Transportation is currently in the process of opening the westbound bridge. Once the bridge is open, crews will then work on removing the temporary two-lane, two-way traffic pattern on the eastbound bridge and restoring the bridge to its normal traffic pattern. Both bridges are expected to be back to their regular traffic patterns by the end of the day today, weather permitting.

NCDOT closed the westbound bridge on September 16, 2013, to allow crews with G.A. & F.C. Wagman Inc. of York, Pa. to replace the top portion of the existing concrete on the bridge deck with a layer of latex-modified concrete that will smooth out humps in each span of the bridge and provide a better riding surface.

In addition to this work, crews also worked on replacing expansion joints, which enable a bridge to expand and contract with the weather.  Crews were able to complete work on two-thirds of the bridge.

Per the project contract, the bridge will close again in September and crews will have until May 15, 2015, to finish work on the remaining one-third of the bridge.

A $6.3 million contract was awarded in June 2013 for this preservation project, which also eliminates conditions causing trucks and other large vehicles to bounce and potentially damage the bridge. It will also enhance repairs made to the bridge previously by increasing the amount of concrete over the bridge’s steel structure.

Because of the nature of the materials used in this project, work involving the latex-modified concrete overlay could only be done when air temperatures were between 50 and 85 degrees, surface temperatures were between 40 and 85 degrees, and wind speeds were no greater than 10 miles per hour.

This project is part of the department’s overall bridge program to improve the condition of the state’s bridges. Investments in the transportation infrastructure provide better access and support economic growth across the state.

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