As is usually the case during the summer months road construction has an impact on High Country traffic. However this year it seems be the the summer of bridge replacement and construction that is having the bigger impact.
In March a portion of Brownwood Road was closed as DOT repaired steel beams and timber floor on a bridge. That project only took a few days to complete.
Other bridge projects that will take a little more time to complete are progressing along nicely.
Emory Greer Road was closed on June 2 to begin work on replacing a bridge that was originally built in 1957. According to Jami Guynn, Bridge Program Manager with NCDOT, the contractor has just finished the substructure on the Emory Greer bridge. “Once the concrete has its required strength, the cored slabs can be placed. Barrier walls will then be formed and pour added” said Guynn via email. Motorist “should see a big change in the next 30 days” in that area according to Guynn.
Another bridge project in Foscoe on Church Road is also progressing very well. That project started on June 6, and is being performed in stages allowing for one lane of traffic to be maintained throughout the life of the project. The contractor has poured concrete for part of the phase work according to Guynn. That bridge was originally built in 1963, and the contractor has 195 days to complete the work.
On Monday June 16 NCDOT began replacing a bridge on Beaver Dam Road over Little Beaver Dam Creek. During construction a portion of Beaver Dam Road is closed with a detour in place. The road will remain closed until the new bridge is completed in mid August.
The bridge was originally built in 1963.
Photos: Kim Scott
Also aiding in construction efforts is the difference in rainfall for July 2014 compared to July 2013, as July 2013 broke all time records for rainfall amounts in Watauga County. From July 1- July 28 officially 5.13 inches of rain has been recorded in Boone this year compared to 17.71 for the same time in 2013.