Pea Island Bridge Nearing Completion
By JOY CRIST
new Pea Island Interim Bridge is close to completion, with paving and
other final tasks scheduled for the next week or so, and an opening
planned in November.
are trying to schedule and sequence all the events that need to take
place,” said Pablo A. Hernandez, the resident engineer for the North
Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the project manager
for the ongoing island bridge projects. “Right now, it is looking like
we could be in a position to shift traffic into the new structure by
the first or middle of next week.”
little more than a mile of traffic near the Pea Island Bridge is
expected to be in a one-lane traffic pattern, due to the elevation
difference of the new road, and the process of tying in the new road to
the existing Highway 12.
elevation difference is up to 16” in some places, and the one-lane
traffic pattern will be implemented from about a half mile north of a
bridge, to about a half mile south of the bridge.
have to do it in stages to be safe,” said Hernandez. “Because of that
change in elevation between the existing road and the new road, we
can’t do it all in one lift, and we need to spread it out over the
will be alternating the lanes we’re working in to bring that elevation
up gradually, and to allow traffic to be maintained in a safe manner.”
as early as next week, travelers should expect a one-lane traffic
pattern controlled by flaggers and / or a pilot car, or a temporary
most endeavors on Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands, the progress of the
remainder of the project depends heavily on the weather.
time of year, we need every good day to get paving done,” said
Hernandez, noting that there is an estimated 10-12 days of paving left
to do. “We are trying to avoid one-lane traffic on the weekends, but we
can’t guarantee that we won’t have that configuration on the weekends -
With weather and equipment, operations could shift.”
asphalt for the Pea Island Bridge project is coming in from Jamesville,
which is roughly a two-hour drive away, not counting the other work
zones at the Bonner Bridge and the Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge.
addition to the paving, guardrails will be installed along the bridge
structure starting this week, and the asphalt will be shaped back to
its original configuration circa 2014.
2014], the road had four foot shoulders and 12 foot lanes,” says
Hernandez. “Right now, there’s no shoulder in the northbound [lane], so
we have to mill and reshape the road so we can put it back in the
are a lot of operations going on at once, and we’re trying to sequence
those events so that everyone has a chance to get their work done.”
If the weather cooperates and the schedule holds, the new bridge should be completed the week of November 13.
best case scenario is that we would have traffic on the new structure
by the middle of next week, with final configuration the following
week,” said Hernandez.