LANSING-Despite the objections of residents in the Horse Creek community, the North Carolina Department of Transportation said it will not install a temporary bridge while crews replace the existing structure in Lansing.
Construction on an aging bridge at the intersection of Little Horse Creek Road and N.C. 194 is currently underway.
The bridge and ergo entrance to Little Horse Creek is inaccessible via N.C. 194. Travis Henley, assistant resident engineer, said the DOT’s reasoning for not installing a temporary bridge comes down to two things: time and money.
“If an alternate route is available, we will use a detour to reduce project costs,” said Henley. “A temporary bridge is almost like paying for a real bridge that you have to tear out.”
The construction of a temporary bridge could also increase total project time while the aging bridge is being replaced, he said.
Vannoy’s Construction is the primary contractor for the project. The Little Horse Creek bridge is one of six that vannoy’s is replacing. Total costs for all six bridges is in the neighborhood of $4.5 million.
State law dictates a low bid for the contract, said Henley.
As opposed to the traditional bid process, Vannoy’s will be responsible for the design and implementation of engineering specifications for the project. Henley said this should speed up the overall project time from start to finish.
Total completion for the project is slated at 150 days.
Typical lifespans for two-span bridges, such as the one in Lansing, is anywhere from 50 to 70 years, but as Henley pointed out, flooding and other acts of God can significantly reduce the integrity of the structures.
The Little Horse Creek bridge has sustained severe damage to its girders and is now showing signs of exposed rebar, said Henley.
Along with contending with increased rates of flooding, High Country bridges are also impacted by the erosive properties of salt and brine solutions, which can decrease the lifespans of the structures.