Travelers in northwestern Wilkes County soon will be driving on a new bridge over the Middle Fork Reddies River. A $464,887 contract has been awarded to James R. Vannoy & Sons Construction Co. of Jefferson by the N.C. Department of Transportation to replace the Kuenzel-Eller Drive bridge near Old N.C. 16 between Wilbar and Daylo. Work can begin as early as May 17 and will be completed by April 14, 2014.
Traffic will be maintained on the existing bridge during construction as the new bridge will be built downstream.
The bridge was built in 1963 and is deemed both functionally obsolete and structurally deficient. This does not mean the bridge is unsafe, but there are elements of the bridge that need to be monitored to maintain its structural integrity, and its layout no longer meets current design standards for width, shoulders or railings. The new bridge will be able to accommodate larger vehicles.
This is one of 15 contracts totaling $67.6 million awarded by NCDOT in April for highway and bridge projects across North Carolina. NCDOT awarded the contracts to the lowest bidders, as required by state law. The bids received on the projects awarded came in about 4.1 percent, or $2.9 million, below NCDOT estimates.