Press release from the N.C. Department of Transportation:
The Bowen Bridges are getting an extension on their life expectancy.
The N.C. Department of Transportation awarded a $6.7 million contract to Southern Road and Bridge of Tarpon Springs, Fla., to repair joints, repair the concrete columns and replace the riding surface.
Work may begin on July 30, and the contract calls for the work to be completed in August of 2019. Nearly all construction impacting traffic will be done at night in order to limit backups and other impacts to traffic crossing the French Broad River.
The bridges are in good condition based on Federal Highway Administration guidelines and the inspection in 2016. All of the work on this project is intended to extend the service life and prevent major repairs for at least another 20 years. A traffic count in 2016 revealed that an average of 103,000 vehicles per day use these two bridges.
The results will include a smoother riding surface and a longer life for the entire deck. Approximately one inch of the existing surface will be removed and replaced with a new overlay that will repair any potholes, prevent water and salt from seeping into the concrete, and prevent rusting of the structural steel parts.
This was one of 25 road and bridge contracts recently awarded by the N.C. Department of Transportation. Per state law, they went to the lowest qualified bidder for each project. The contracts are worth nearly $630 million.