City asks frustrated drivers for patience while south Raleigh bridge is replaced
Posted April 23, 2015
For more than a year, drivers in south Raleigh have had to take long detours after the bridge along Lake Dam Road was closed because of structural deficiencies.
The bridge, which spans Walnut Creek, connects Avent Ferry Road with Tryon Road. Engineers found problems during a routine inspection last year.
“There are seven beams now not capable of bearing traffic,” said Chris McGee, transportation field services manager with the City of Raleigh. “We had to close it because it won’t support the load of traffic.”
Sam Akerson lives near the bridge and has to give his friends special instructions to find him.
“You always have to take a detour somewhere,” he said. “I usually just tell them to go all the way to the end of the road and I'll just meet them there.”
Officials say it’s going to be a while before Lake Dam Road is connected again.
“Part of the problem is that, once we get into it, we’re not sure we could fix it,” McGee said.
So, the city is working with the state to replace the bridge entirely. Engineers hope to have it open by late 2017. The project is estimated at $1 million, which will mostly be paid for with federal funds.
The city also is working with the state on two other bridge replacements in the same area: One on Trailwood Drive and the other on Avent Ferry Road at Lake Johnson.
Officials want to complete the work before 2018, when construction begins to widen the Beltline from I-40 to Wade Avenue.
In the meantime, McGee has a message for drivers dealing with the detours.
“It may take you two or three minutes longer - just be patient,” he said. “We're trying to get it open for you.”