Local News

I-40 Reopens in Eastern North Carolina

Posted September 22, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Department Of Transportation officials reopened Interstate 40 in the eastern part of North Carolina to traffic at about 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

The Pender County section of the interstate had been under water for a week.

DOT engineers say the road did not lose structural integrity as a result of the flooding.

"We look for shoulders that have dropped down, for low shoulders, shoulders that have been washed out. We also go out and do some testing, as far as the major highways, and make sure the sub-grade is intact, there's no problem with water in areas down underneath the pavement. We do all of that before we put traffic back on the road," says Don Goins.

As the waters recede, the DOT says many roads held up well, but many bridges could not take the pressure.

Bridges are built to take pressure from the top, but the flood waters put pressure on the bridges from the bottom, or on the ground supports that support the sides.

Culverts also took a beating, but officials say the end is in sight.

"Even if we have a break in the main road, we will have detours in place that will be able to get people to where they want to go. Some of them may be longer detours than they would like, but that's the best we're going to be able to do," says Don Goins.

"You may be running over stone for a while until we get the pavement back on some of these locations, but we can get the roads open to the traffic, the public, pretty quick," he says.

There are still hundreds of secondary roads shut down by flood waters.

Highways 64 and 258 are still closed in Edgecombe County, and a short section of Highway 70 is closed in Kinston, but there are marked detours.

TheDOT Web sitehas a complete lists of the status of roads affected by Floyd.