BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) – Drivers along the main highway in Bladen County should be prepared for possible delays sometime this week.
Lane closures on the new U.S. Route 701 near Elizabethtown could begin in the middle of the week.
According to North Carolina Department of Transportation engineer Blythe Jordan, such a closure requires a lot of logistics and planning.
“In the next few weeks, 12 days, we are going to raise 42 beams to install them on the bridge over the Cape Fir River,” he said.
Before that could happen – a crane weighing nearly 2.6 million pounds 300 feet must pass the test, according to Jordan.
“We will need to close the bridge between 9 and 10 a.m. and 2 and 3 p.m. to make these lifts out of the existing bridge,” he said.
According to Jordan, about 10,250 cars and 1,250 trucks pass over Bridge 701 daily – these vehicles will not have access until the bridge is closed.
There was concern about rapid response vehicles, according to Blade County EMS Director David Howell, but that has changed.
“We have had several meetings and we have worked out a plan to make sure we have resources on both sides of the bridge, law enforcement on both sides of the bridge,” he said.
Both police cruisers and ambulances will be held during the closing.
However, the fire truck cannot because of its size and weight – instead it will be located on the north side of the bridge.
If an emergency arises, firefighters will catch a ride across the bridge to the fire truck.
Elizabethtown Fire Chief said the services would not be affected due to the closure.
“We will be able to handle these resources, which we plan to organize across the river,” said Chief Holis Freeman.
Howell said putting the plan into action was a joint venture.
“Just a little effort, but we coordinated it, no worries,” Howell said. “There will be proper ambulance, fire response and law response.”
According to the DOT, the faucet requires a little finer adjustment, which can delay closing until Wednesday.
The American RT 701 bridge near Elizabethtown remains open until the crane tests are completed
Source link The American RT 701 bridge near Elizabethtown remains open until the crane tests are completed