Local News

NC Continues to Rebuild Roads Flooded by Floyd

Posted January 12, 2000

— Four months afterHurricane Floydflooded eastern North Carolina, people are still detouring around wiped-out roads.

It looks like the day after Floyd hit in parts of Duplin County where huge chunks of Oak Ridge Road are gone. The broken double yellow line gives a rough idea of what was there before the big flood.

Repair crews have not touched the road. TheDepartment Of Transportationis waiting for the landowner's decision about whether to rebuild a dam.

The Highway 301 bridge south of Halifax was North Carolina's most seriously damaged road structure.

Some hard work by contractors means completion of a new bridge is in sight. "The bents, or the supports for the structure, are about 75 percent complete. They're anticipating that the entire bridge will be completed around sometime in August," says state engineer Steve Varnedoe.

The work is not so clear-cut on the Highway 70 bridge at La Grange.

In the weeks after Floyd, crews drove pilings through the deck. Engineers then said the bridges were safe.

After a more in-depth investigation, the DOT now says both bridges must be rebuilt. The work starts in August.

Several bridges along rural, lightly-traveled highways still await repair.

Several other roadways show that work has just been finished.

"I think we've made significant progress from where we were four months ago, and when you consider that we had 1,000 roads that were closed for quite some time with flooding and all, I think we're well on our way to getting things restored," Varnedoe says.

Engineers say several roads may have hidden damage that will not show up for months or even years.

The DOT says crews have finished 90 percent of Floyd flood repairs.


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