RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Work is beginning this week on one of two new bridges that will be built in Raleigh over the next few years as part of a $36.9 million project, the North Carolina Department of Transportation announced Monday.
Drivers who use the Wade Avenue ramp bridge that goes over Capital Boulevard will see that work is now getting underway on the bridge’s replacement. The bridge replacement is part of a project that will also see a new bridge built on Capital Boulevard over Peace Street.
Workers will install work zone signs and erosion control instruments in preparation for construction of the bridge, according to the NCDOT. Significant impact on travel is not expected for at least several months due to the fact that the new bridge will be built adjacent to the current Wade Avenue ramp bridge. That bridge will remain open for nearly all of the construction time, the NCDOT said.
Officials said that eventually there will be several closures when girders for the new bridge are put in place, as well as when the old bridge is taken down. This will allow crews to safely adjust the current exit ramp off northbound Capital Boulevard in order for it to match up with the newly-installed bridge.
Sidewalks will be added on both sides of Wade Avenue in the area of the new bridge, as well as a greenway between West Street underneath the bridge and the Capital Boulevard off-ramp to Wade Avenue, officials said.
The NCDOT said that the Wade Avenue bridge is “considered structurally deficient” and has a weight restriction that is too limiting for the type of vehicles that need to be driven on it. The bridge was built in 1954. Despite it being structurally deficient, the bridge is still considered safe, but it is in need of replacing.
The bridge over Peace Street is 66 years old, which makes it even older than the Wade Avenue bridge. This bridge is also considered structurally deficient and in need of replacing.
Work on the Peace Street bridge isn’t expected to begin until late spring or early summer of 2017, the NCDOT said.
Officials have said that the current diamond-style interchange in use near the existing Peace Street bridge will be replaced by a “square loop” interchange once construction of the new bridge gets underway. The new interchange will use Johnson Street and Harrington Street – once it’s extended to Peace Street.
A new ramp will also be added in the southeast corner of the intersection. Bike lanes will be added to Peace Street between the interchange ramp endings and sidewalks will be widened to 14 feet along the street and most of the square loop, according to the NCDOT.
A new 10-foot grass median will also be added along Capital Boulevard between Peace Street and Wade Avenue.