Emergency Response Times Expected To Increase During NC 210 Bridge Closure

SMITHFIELD – The closure of a busy bridge on NC Highway 210 near Smithfield for more than a year is expected to increase response times for emergency services in the area.

The NC Department of Transportation plans to close the NC 210 bridge spanning Middle Creek in June 2024 for replacement. The bridge, located between Galilee Road and Swift Creek Road, was built during the Great Depression and is nearing the end of its lifespan. It currently requires extensive maintenance and has an antiquated design.

NC 210 bridge over Middle Creek near Smithfield. Johnston County Report Photo

In March 2024, the NCDOT awarded a $3.2 million construction contract with S.T. Wooten Corporation of Wilson to replace the bridge.

In order to demolish the existing bridge and replace it with a modern structure, NC 210 will be closed at the location for 13 months, beginning in June 2024.

The impact will be felt by thousands of drivers who travel NC 210 to their homes, businesses, and the nearby west Smithfield Elementary.

Smithfield Fire Chief Jeremey Daughtry told The Johnston County Report, “The bridge closure will increase response time for the Smithfield Fire Department due to units having to travel alternate routes. We are working with the Johnston County Fire Marshal’s Office to develop response plans which will utilize our mutual aid partners to assist in the timely response to the emergency needs of our citizens.”

Johnston County Emergency Services Director Kevin Hubbard said EMS response times could also be a little longer. “The area near the Middle Creek Bridge is in the EMS 12 and Smithfield Fire Department response districts. The closure of the Middle Creek Bridge on NC Hwy 210 could impact our EMS response to that area. During the closure, we will monitor dispatches to that area and make response adjustments based on known information as needed.”

The bridge closure will begin while students who attend nearby West Smithfield Elementary are out for the summer. But starting in August, it will add several miles to approximately 27 bus routes that transport students across Middle Creek Bridge.

Johnston County Public Schools released a statement saying, “Detours, which could add 6-9 miles to each one way run, are being considered. For buses that pick up students at West Smithfield Elementary, the proposed detours could add up to 18 miles to each run. Some of the proposed optional detour routes, which vary in distances from 6-9 miles, could add anywhere between 15-25 minutes of travel time per trip for some buses. Final plans and details will be shared once confirmed.”

Last year, when the bridge closure was first discussed by the NCDOT with Johnston County Commissioners, local elected leaders asked the new bridge be four lanes (two westbound and two eastbound) to accommodate any future widening plans on NC 210. The NCDOT declined. The new bridge, like the old one, will be built for two lanes of traffic.


  1. There is no reason for it to take 13 months to replace the bridge. Watch and see how often equipment sits idle for weeks or longer at one time.

  2. They make temp bridges to help for long time.So there’s on reason not to keep the road close for 13 months.There’s already to much road construction here in and around Johnston county . The construction companies need to finish some of the ones already started. I see it first hand lane closer for miles and like David nothing being done. The road construction sites has become more of a vehicle accident zone do to the size they’ve cut the lanes down too. No room at all for any kind of mistake .

  3. They could get it done while school is out for summer if they wanted to. I’ve seen it done.

    But no, it will be torn out immediately and then left for months while they work on something else as always. And I’m making a note that it’s supposed to be done July 2025. I’m predicting it won’t be open before November.

    By way of comparison, the larger Market St Neuse River bridge only took 7 months from close to open.

    The Market St bridge over I-95 is also being replaced but it will remain open the entire time.

    The amount of extended trips will be in the millions, roughly 10 million miles of waste and there will be accidents on Galilee Rd and US 301 because of it. 301 is already at capacity south of Brogden Rd.

  4. All I got out of this is that the County Commissioners have plans to make 210 a 4 lane highway. I certainly hope they don’t think that’s possible, seeing all the homes that are almost in the road already.

    ST Wooten finished the big bypass bridge almost two years earlier than expected. The amount of time does not worry me. It’s the never ending houses being built that our counties infrastructure can NOT hold.

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