Spring Lake mayor doesn't want repairs, says new bridge is necessary
Posted October 14, 2019 6:43 p.m. EDT
Spring Lake, N.C. — The East Manchester Road bridge in Spring Lake, damaged by Hurricane Florence, was shut down Monday for repairs, but the mayor says that's not enough.
Mayor Larry Dobbins says patchwork won't suffice for the bridge that crosses over the Lower Little River in Spring Lake near Highway 24. It's right next to the Starlite Motel which was destroyed by flooding from Hurricane Florence.
While the damage to the bridge did not come from motel debris – that debrid flowed downstream away from the bridge, according to state engineers – erosion from flooding that ran over and under the bridge has caused enough damage to require repairs.
"But I'm thinking, as we expand Spring Lake, as we grow and expand, this bridge does need to be replaced," Dobbins said. "It needs to be widened, and it also needs to be raised because we're standing in the flood zone from 2018 and 2016. The water was standing on this bridge. The water was up over my waist."
For now, East Manchester Road will be closed near North Bragg Boulevard until about Nov. 5 while crews to repair soil erosion and stabilize the bridge with grout and stone. Traffic is being detoured around the bridge via N.C. Highway 210 in Spring Lake.
There are not any plans to replace the bridge, which was built in 1967 and could last another 20 to 25 years if repairs are made right now, according to Greg Burns, Fayetteville division engineer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
"The bridge is structurally sound. It's in good shape," Burns said. "The erosion needs to be repaired to ensure the structural integrity, the long-term structural integrity of that bridge."