The North Carolina Department of Transportation is making progress on two improvement projects involving the J.P. Knapp Bridge and U.S. 158, while attempting to minimize impacts on summer travel through the county.
A reconditioning project on the J.P. Knapp Bridge in Coinjock began in March with the removal of approximately 1″ of concrete that had been saturated by road salts. The negative effects of salt on the bridge include corrosion of the reinforcement steel leading to expansion of the steel and the spalling or breaking of the concrete due to moisture, which leads to potholes in the riding surface. Once the saturated concrete was removed, a non-permeable concrete was installed to bring the riding surface back up to grade.
With this initial phase completed, the current phase includes diamond grinding to improve ride-ability, transverse grooving for increased traction, and finishing seals to expansion joints. NCDOT has allotted its contractors a time-frame to finalize work on the Knapp Bridge by mid-August but expects an earlier completion date. To accommodate the heavier seasonal traffic, NCDOT will not allow lane closures on the bridge from Friday through Sunday.
In a separate project, work to resurface U.S. 158 is progressing through lower Currituck and aims to fix the problem of loose gravel on the highway. The issue of loose gravel stems from the previous resurfacing in the fall of 2012. The type of surface installed allows storm water to drain through the top mix to the underlying concrete in order to reduce spray from automobiles and improve traction during wet weather. It has worked well in that regard for several years but the surface has deteriorated over time, producing the loose gravel and leading to numerous problems such as broken windshields and hazardous conditions for motorcycles.
The removal and replacement of the asphalt is occurring in two phases. Phase 1 includes multiple areas south of Grandy, which have already had the old pavement removed. The repaving of these areas with a new surface is scheduled to begin the week of June 24 – 28.
Phase 2 involves the area from Macedonia Church Rd. to the intersection of U.S. 158 and N.C. 168 in Barco. Work is currently underway to remove the old pavement. This is expected to be done by early July. Resurfacing this area will immediately follow, with an overall project completion expected by late July. Lane closures will not be allowed on Saturdays or Sundays. However, northbound lane closures only may be permitted on Friday mornings. An on-site NCDOT traffic monitor will determine if this causes delays in traffic and, if necessary, will remove the lane closure to allow motorists the use of all five lanes on the highway.