Local News

Crews Work to Get Drivers Back on Flood Damaged Roads

Posted November 7, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST

— Hurricane Floydwiped out more than1,000 North Carolina roads, and highway crews have worked for nearly two months to fix them.

State highway engineers say the U.S. 301 bridge south of Halifax is the biggest, post-Floyd rebuilding project mainly because there is no bridge.

Contractors are mapping out a re-construction plan. It will take at least a year to get traffic moving across Quankey Creek.

"We have over 90 percent of the roads open now that were closed during the major flooding period, and we're anticipating by the end of the month, we feel like, other than the long-term closures, we'll have most of the other roads open to traffic," explained Steve Varnedoe, state maintenance engineer.

Seven weeks after Floyd, repairs have whittled the number of blocked roads down to 94. The vast majority are lightly used secondary routes.

Several rural highway bridge projects are several months away from handling traffic.

However, not all the news is bad. Some damage was not as severe as theDOTanticipated such as Highway 70 at LaGrange.

Engineers first thought the bridge would be closed for months, but it is now open to traffic with steel supports underneath. The state is not sure if this is a permanent solution. They are also not sure if drivers will not find some surprises.

"We will continue to find locations that we're not even aware of right now. There could be voids under the pavement or around pipes that didn't initially show up. There will be problems out there that we'll keep encountering," said Varnedoe.

If you come across a road that is still damaged, call the DOT at1-800-DOT-4YOU.