Bridge on U.S. 321-A to open today

Weather pushes back another DOT project
Aug. 19, 2014 @ 08:13 AM

A new bridge on U.S. 321-A in Hudson spanning Little Gunpowder Creek is expected to be open for traffic sometime today, the Department of Transportation says.

Work on the bridge began on March 17. Motorists on the oft-used highway have been detoured along Pine Mountain Road, Cedar Valley Road and back on U.S. 321-A. Work on the final details, such as striping the new pavement, was performed on Monday.

The bridge replaces one built in 1937 that was "functionally obsolete," meaning it was safe for traffic but not built to current standards.

Seeding and planting of the surrounding area is expected to be finished by February.

Another DOT project, a connector road from Grace Chapel Road to New Farm Road at the Walmart in Granite Falls, is slightly behind schedule due to recent rains, said David Poindexter, N.C. Department of Transportation district engineer. The road was to be completed this month but is now expected to be finished this fall.

The road will be called New Farm Road, and a portion that extends to Merchants Distributors Inc. will be called Alex Lee Boulevard.

It has been under construction since March 2012. The 1.232-mile two-lane road was at first expected to be finished in the fall of 2013, but heavy rains last summer, then engineering issues, redesigns and the cold winter contributed to delaying it.

The road, designed to carry about 6,800 cars per day, is intended to alleviate traffic on U.S. 321 between Walmart and Grace Chapel Road, which is nearing its 40,000-car-per-day capacity.