Motorist around Boone will feel more congestion than normal starting at the end of April.
Work is scheduled to begin on the bridge at Burger King on April 30. According to Ed Treadaway, assistant resident engineer for NCDOT, work to the bridge is planned in two stages with the first stage starting this month.
Crews will replace a 30 foot wide section in the middle of the road/bridge, which will involve closing the middle three lanes of 321 (Blowing Rock Road). Only one lane of travel will be open in each direction. The contractor has 60 days to complete the work, barring any unforeseen problems and weather setbacks.
After work on the middle section is complete another stage is planned. That involves replacing the bridge deck on both outside lanes. Treadaway adds that part of the project should not take as long as the first part of the replacement.
The bridge was built at least 50 or more years ago and was widened to add additional lanes many years later (the year was not immediately known in an email exchange between Treadaway and WataugaRoads.com).
UPDATED with information from NCDOT on Wednesday April 25
RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Transportation will close three of five lanes on the U.S. 321/221 bridge in Boone over Flannery Fork Creek adjacent to the Burger King at Boone Heights Drive starting Monday, April 30, weather permitting, for a partial bridge replacement project.
NCDOT awarded the $654,382 contract to R.E. Burns and Sons of Statesville. The project is scheduled to be completed 60 days after construction begins.
The current bridge was built in two stages. The original bridge (middle three lanes) was built in 1947 and was widened in the 1970s. This project involves replacing the deck and upper bridge supports in the older section of the bridge.
There will be one lane open in each direction on the bridge. However, those lanes may close periodically during construction. Alternate routes have been set up for local traffic to get around the project work zone during these times.
Northbound traffic can turn right on Deerfield Road, left on State Farm Road and left on Shadowline Drive to get back onto U.S. 321/221. Southbound traffic can turn right onto Meadowview Drive, left on Leola Street and left on Watauga Village Drive to get back to U.S. 321/221.
For motorists that want to get on Boone Heights Drive off U.S. 321 South, turn left on Shadowline Drive, right onto State Farm Road and right on Boone Heights Drive. To get back onto U.S. 321 South off Boone Heights Drive, motorists can turn right onto State Farm Road, right on Deerfield Road and left on U.S. 321 South. A map showing the alternate routes is attached.