Castle Bridge Repairs Underway…Traffic to flow at all hours
ASHEVILLE, NC (January 17, 2019) — A transportation plan to continue serving citizens in Burke and Caldwell counties has been put in to action on the Castle Bridge.
A contractor for the N.C. Department of Transportation started repairing the 57-year-old bridge over the Catawba River last week in order to extend its life until a new parallel bridge can be constructed.
“The goal of making these temporary repairs is to keep the existing bridge open at all times for local residents,” Division 13 Resident Engineer Nathan Moneyham said. “These repairs will serve the citizens in the short term while the new bridge will serve everybody for decades to come.”
NCDOT engineers and local officials chose to make the short-terms repairs in order to design and develop a new bridge. Original plans consisted of making structural repairs to the existing bridge that would last about 15 years but would require a 30-minute detour for more than a year.
Engineers and officials found a better solution as a result of multiple public meetings and addressing the concerns of local leaders and community business owners. A contract for the new bridge is scheduled to be awarded in 2024.
The contract to repair and paint structural steel with Astron General Contracting is worth $488,000 and includes specific restrictions to limit interruptions to local traffic. Lanes may not be closed between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m., and the bridge should not be completely closed at any time. Some nighttime lane closures may restrict traffic to one lane. The work should be completed by July to accommodate the average of 9,000 vehicles per day.