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October 16, 2019

Improvements Eyed on WNC Bridge

A two-lane bridge over the Tuckasiegee River just off U.S. 74 needs repairs.

The N.C. Department of Transportation will determine the extent of those repairs during an inspection this week that will require the bridge to be closed during portions of the next three days.

The Wilmont Cemetery Bridge, located about halfway between exits for Sylva and Whitter on U.S. 74, will be closed from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. for three straight days starting Tuesday, Oct. 4.

“It’s a tricky intersection even in the best of conditions,” said Division 14 Bridge Maintenance Engineer Chris Lee. “We are going to assess the bridge deck as well as the substructure and beams. We’re going to see what kind of work it would take.”

Bridge assessments and projects like this currently underway across the state are part of Governor McCroy’s 25-Year Vision for transportation in North Carolina to enhance travel safety and to better connect North Carolinians to jobs, education, healthcare and recreation opportunities.

In this case, the assessment team will utilize a hydra platform — a truck that extends scaffolding to the underside of the bridge — to prepare their report. Lee and his team will then develop the next best step, which likely includes creating a master plan to improve the bridge deck, its structure and perhaps additions to U.S. 74 in the area.

Digital message boards have been placed on U.S. 74 alerting motorists of the closure. Conley’s Creek Road and Barker’s Creek Road provide local residents two options for detours.

About The Author

Andy has worked in broadcasting around Western North Carolina over the last 17 years. He serves as the Operations Manager and Program Director for WRGC and WBHN. “I’ve been with the crew here at Five Forty Broadcasting since the idea of bringing the station back to Jackson County at 540-AM. I feel a personal connection with community radio and the area”. In the past, Andy has worked with iHeart Media and Sky Country Broadcasting. He resides in Haywood County.

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