Rebuilding of the U.S. 401 south bound overpass bridge near Scotland High School is scheduled to continue until May of next year.
The traffic pattern over the bridge has been altered, with southbound cars being directed onto the temporarily paved-over median.
“That will stay the same until the bridge construction is completed,” said Kevin Hedrick, NC DOT District Engineer.
The project is being completed using federal and state funds at a cost of $1,793,164.14, Hedrick said.
“Bridges like this probably have a 40- or 50-year life span, and it was time for this one to be replaced.”
Contracting for the rebuilding project took place in April of this year.
“We have a very large list in this state, and bridges are typically replaced based on their age, width and whether or not they meet current standards,” said Hedrick.
While Laurinburg City Manager Ed Burchins recalled a “truck hitting the an I-beam on the bridge,” Hedrick said that there were no pressing structural problems with the bridge.
Work on the bridge is being done by contractors at the Smith-Rowe construction firm.
Hedrick is advising all motorists to slow down and have respect for workers at the site.
“Any time someone is working along or in the road, we just ask that you slow down and pay more attention,” said Hedrick. “Give them as much room as you can because it is dangerous work.”
The speed limit has been reduced to 45 mph in the construction zone.
It also may be advisable for overly wide vehicles to avoid using the overpass until construction is completed, warned Hedrick.
Hedrick said that, when completed, the bridge likely “won’t look too much different, but will simply be built to a new standard.”
According to Hedrick, the only other projects scheduled in the immediate future within the county are some repaving and resurfacing efforts.