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NCDOT: Wright Memorial Bridge will reopen by May 15th

Posted at 5:31 PM, Mar 27, 2015

Dare County, North Carolina (WTKR) - The North Carolina Department of Transportation says the Wright Memorial Bridge will reopen to traffic by May 15th, whether resurfacing work is complete or not.

For the past two years, the westbound span of the bridge has been closed during the off -season so that crews can work on a resurfacing project to smooth out a bumpy ride over the Currituck Sound.

On Friday, NCDOT Spokeswoman Jennifer Heiss told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo that the new latex-modified concrete had been placed on spans 21-249 of the bridge.

That leaves just 20 spans left to finish.

In addition, joint work has been done on bents 50-249, leaving just 49 left to finish. Those expansion joints allow the bridge to expand and contract with the weather.

Weather has been an issue for the project, because the materials being used can only be placed when air temperatures are between 50 and 85 degrees, surface temperatures are between 40 and 85 degrees and wind speeds are no greater than 10 miles per hour.

"The schedule is tight given the three months of cold weather from Christmas until just a few weeks ago," Heiss wrote.

NCDOT says they still expect the work to be complete in time for the May 15 deadline, but no matter what the bridge will reopen by that date.

If the work is not finished, depending on what is left to be done, crews would be able to finish it using a single lane closure, with the bridge still open to traffic.

That could happen either immediately or later in the fall.

Heiss says either way, there is no plans to shut down the bridge completely again.

Once the weather is consistent, crews expect to be on the bridge finishing the work 24/7.