Workers are busy cutting the concrete bridge deck into slabs that they will remove and replace later. The bridge was shut down Monday around 7 p.m. For the next six months, traffic will be diverted around the bridge and into some nearby neighborhoods.
Workers lined Old Wake Forest road with barrels to steer vehicles away from the bridge. Electronic signs warn drivers of the detour ahead. The cracked and aging bridge is worn down from 43 years of heavy traffic.
"It's evidencing some cracking and the possibilities of further deterioration and concrete from the bottom cracking out and falling," says DOT engineer Tracy Parrott.
The 'Road Closed' signs will not budge for the next six months while the bridge gets a face lift. Cynthia Dean worries about the extra traffic that will be diverted through her Five Points neighborhood.
"When I'm trying to get to the grocery store or get to the library, I'll run into a lot of people that are not ready for it," she said, "and don't know that there are going to be a lot of delays, and they are going to be upset."
"I won't be driving down it. I will find a different way to go," says Ted Horton, who is not looking forward to fighting more traffic in front of his house on Witaker Mill. However, he says the six month shutdown is the price of progress.
"I drive across that bridge all the time, and I just noticed that the road is all tore up, and it's pretty old," he said.
Capital Boulevard will also be shut down for a few weeks at night during the project. They are going to lift concrete sections out of the bridge, and they cannot have cars driving underneath it when they do.
The work will begin next week, and it will not affect daytime traffic on Capitol.
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