The N.C. Department of Transportation will be awarding a pipe replacement project up for bidding under emergency circumstances on Monday.
Two old pipes under U.S. 64, about one mile west of the intersection with N.C. 107 in Jackson County, need to be replaced because they have ruptured and the eastbound lane has been compromised.
U.S. 64 will be closed and a temporary detour will be established during the repairs. The highway is currently down to one lane with a temporary stoplight in place to control traffic.
The 10-mile detour — taking an average of 20 minutes —directs westbound drivers to take N.C. 107 North to North Norton Road and then to Norton Road and U.S 64. The opposite applies to eastbound drivers.
Bidding for the contract opened today and will be awarded by mid-day on Monday. The contractor may begin work as soon as 4 p.m. on Monday and will have 72 hours to complete the pipe installation and reopen the road on a gravel surface.
An additional 24 hours will be granted to repave the road. The contract contains a clause that will award an incentive for completing the work early and penalties for working beyond next Friday.
Transportation officials remind drivers to obey all posted signs, slow down in work zones and be aware of other motorists, especially during the autumn viewing season.