Construction of a new bridge on N.C. 581 near Buckhorn Reservoir west of Wilson is scheduled to get under way on Monday, March 21. The project is part of a $6.3 million contract awarded Sanford Contractors in March 2013 to replace six bridges in Wilson County and two in Wayne County.
The work will require the closure of the highway at the bridge, with the contractor having 150 days, which is August 18, to open the new bridge. The signed detour puts drivers on Rock Ridge School Road, Leonard Road, Sadie Road and N.C. 42 to get around the closure.
The 68-year-old bridge over Contentnea Creek is considered structurally deficient and functionally obsolete. That means that while it remains safe, it is in deteriorating condition, and needs more constant maintenance. It was also designed to standards no longer in use and has weight restrictions which limits the type of vehicles that can cross the bridge. That won’t be the case with the new structure.
Motorists are encouraged to pay attention to the construction and detour signs and allow extra time to travel through the area.
Of the eight bridges covered by the contract, three have been finished, three are in progress, and there are two to go.