Carbonton bridge to remain closed into 2019

BY CASEY MANN
Posted 11/22/18

Construction of a replacement bridge in Carbonton, originally scheduled for completion last week, will now drag into 2019.

The bridge, which crosses the Deep River on N.C. 42 where Chatham, Lee …

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Carbonton bridge to remain closed into 2019

Posted

Construction of a replacement bridge in Carbonton, originally scheduled for completion last week, will now drag into 2019.

The bridge, which crosses the Deep River on N.C. 42 where Chatham, Lee and Moore counties meet, has been closed since early this year.

Located near the old Carbonton Dam, it was built in 1961, according to NCDOT bridge program manager Tim Welch. Welch said the bridge suffered from deterioration of the substructure and the caps that hold the girders in place.

In addition, because of the deficient length of the bridge for the river’s span, logs and other debris were piling upstream of the bridge. This required NCDOT to use large cranes and equipment to routinely remove the debris to allow for river flow.

Completion of the bridge was originally scheduled for Nov. 16. NCDOT regional engineer Garry Phillips, who monitors the construction process, said that Extreme Concrete Cutting of Gaffney, S.C, the company awarded the contract for the construction, requested and received a two-week extension for NCDOT due to Hurricanes Florence and Michael.

But even with the extension, the company said it didn’t anticipate completing the work until February. Phillips stated the NCDOT is using a more conservative estimate of late spring/early summer for the road to reopen.

The $2 million contract awarded by NCDOT to Extreme Concrete Cutting contained a stipulation that the company would be required to pay back the state $1,000 per day in “liquidation damages” for each day over the agreed contract period the construction extends.

Phillips estimated that if the company were to be able to complete the project in February as they anticipate, the liquidation damages would be about $90,000. If the construction stretches into late spring, that amount would likely double.

NCDOT bids are awarded to the lowest bidder, according to Phillips. To the best of his knowledge, there were “four or five” bids for this project. Extreme Concrete Cutting had the lowest bid.

It is possible the company may ask for another extension as the recent rains caused the Deep River to enter flood stage. But Phillips noted the NCDOT guidelines limit extensions for weather to those that have impacted 40 percent of the contract time.

The current extension was only granted because the area was declared a disaster due to Hurricane Florence. The rains that drenched Chatham last week were viewed simply as a weather event.

The detour implemented to bypass the bridge will remain in place. The detour directs traffic south of the bridge on South Carbonton Road to Harrington Road, then to Steel Bridge Road and finally to Plank Road before returning onto N.C. 42 east of the bridge, will remain in effect.

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