Motorists who use Beulah Church Road for traveling are being asked to use an alternate route while the North Carolina Department of Transportation replaces a bridge.
Karen Collette, division engineer, released a statement Monday that says the bridge on Beulah Church Road that crosses over Ten Mile Swamp, north of Turkey, will be closed May 1-Sept. 1.
The bridge, which is located just north of Beulah Baptist Church, was built in 1964 and is now considered structurally deficient and functionally obsolete.
“That means while it is still safe, it was built to the standards of its day and needs to be replaced,” Collete noted in the press release. “The new bridge will have updated drainage structures to prevent ponding on the roadway, reinforce the bridge approach and prevent washouts, and update other maintenance issues.”
As of February, 13 percent of the state’s bridges were considered structurally deficient, which means they have components in poor condition due to deterioration. These bridges require significant maintenance to remain in service, and may require limits on vehicle weights. To fully address the issue, transportation officials say extensive rehabilitation or replacement is usually required.
If the state were to repair or rehabilitate all structurally deficient bridges in North Carolina, it would come with a price tag of nearly $4 billion.
Functionally obsolete bridges like the one on Beulah Church Road no longer meet the demands of the traffic using the bridge. While these bridges are safe, the DOT says they need to be improved or replaced due to narrow lanes, low height clearances or posted weight limits.
According to Collette, the transportation department follows strict inspection standards and inspects each bridge at least every two years.
If a bridge is found to have safety issues or structural concerns, the Department of Transportation takes immediate action. Depending on the severity of the issue, the department may post a weight limit on the bridge, make immediate repairs or close the bridge completely until repairs can be made. Traffic will not be allowed on a bridge that is unsafe.
“The NCDOT reminds motorists to stay alert, use alternate routes when possible during this period, drive with caution, obey the posted speed limits and allow extra travel time,” Collette said.
During the bridge work, motorists are encouraged to use a detour route that travels north on Lake Artesia Road, east on Pine Ridge Road, south on W. Megowan Road, southwest on Thompson Ave., west on Old Warsaw Road and back on Beulah Church Road.
For additional information regarding the dates and times of the bridge closure, visit the DOT’s website.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.