Local News

Raleigh's Melbourne Road bridge to remain closed into Thursday

Posted May 10

— An Interstate 440 overpass in Raleigh hit Tuesday afternoon by a tractor-trailer will remain closed at least through the morning rush hour Thursday morning, a spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Transportation said.

After a tractor-trailer hit the Melbourne Road bridge, causing hours of highway traffic tangles, the DOT on Wednesday inspected the bridge to determine whether it sustained enough damage to keep it closed or whether they could allow traffic with weight restrictions while repairs are made, the DOT's Steve Abbott said.

The Melbourne Road bridge, built in 1959, connects two residential neighborhoods and serves as access to the interstate for those residents, Abbott said, noting that, while traffic volume on the bridge is relatively low, the bigger impact could come in the I-440 travel lanes below if the bridge requires repairs.

"Usually on a bridge project like this, if they are working above a roadway, and lane or complete closures are needed, it would be just overnights or on weekends," Abbott said. "It would not be allowed to disrupt rush hour or daytime weekday traffic."

Police blocked I-440 westbound on Tuesday after the 1:30 p.m. accident, and traffic was only intermittently allowed to pass through until about 5 p.m. The incident caused major delays through the evening rush hour commute.

Abbott said the bridge was slated for an upgrade in an interstate widening project scheduled to begin in 2018.

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