The bridge crossing the Deep River on N.C. Hwy. 42 near the intersection of Chatham, Lee and Moore counties will be closed for at least four more months, according to the N.C. Dept. of Transportation.
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GULF — The bridge crossing the Deep River on N.C. Hwy. 42 near the intersection of Chatham, Lee and Moore counties will be closed for at least four more months, according to the N.C. Dept. of Transportation. The bridge has been closed since January 2018 to facilitate the construction of a replacement of a bridge built in 1961 which is suffering a deterioration of the substructure and the caps that hold the bridge’s girders in place.
The replacement had been scheduled for completion in November 2018, but delays have pushed that date out several times. The company contracted to do the construction, Extreme Concrete Cutting of Gaffney, S.C., had its original construction completion date extended by six months after last fall’s hurricanes — as did every NCDOT project, according to Garry Phillips, Lee County’s NCDOT resident engineer. The extension changed the contracted finish date to May 15. Even so, the project is only 50 percent complete, according to the NCDOT.
Phillips noted that delays experienced on the project last year triggered a series of events at the administrative offices of NCDOT. This includes bi-weekly meetings where the company must provide revised schedules and updates on progress. The company estimates it will have the road open in August. The company going beyond its contract date also triggers “liquidation” payments the company will incur. For every day beyond the May 15 contract date, the company must refund NCDOT $1,000.
NCDOT has an inspector on the site every day, according to Phillips. The inspectors are a form of quality control, creating daily documentation which include updates and testing of samples to ensure the construction materials meet NCDOT standards. Extreme Concrete Cutting has also been pulled from the NCDOT bidder list as a prime contractor, meaning they can no longer be the head contractor on a project in the state, but will be able to be a sub-contractor on someone else’s project. Once the project is complete, the state will re-evaluate the status of the company’s ability to bid again as a prime contractor.
Casey Mann can be reached at CaseyMann@Chathamnr.com.