The North Carolina Department of Transportation is replacing the bridge on U.S. 70 Business in downtown Smithfield over the Neuse River. A $5.3 million contract was awarded to D.H. Griffin Construction Company of Raleigh in March, 2012 for the project.
The project includes plans to replace the five-lane bridge, which was constructed in 1923, with a new bridge that also includes five lanes, as well as a six-foot wide pedestrian walkway on the north side and a 10-foot wide multiuse path on the south side to accommodate bicycle and pedestrian traffic.
Starting the night of Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012, the bridge will be closed to traffic for 240 days, or the equivalent of eight months. Several signed detour routes will be in place while the bridge is closed.
Crews will begin preparing for the replacement on-site during the first week of September in order to start demolition and construction as quickly as possible once the bridge is closed to traffic.
Demolition will begin on the downtown Smithfield side of the bridge and is estimated to take approximately 51 days. Construction of the new bridge will begin before demolition is complete.
News and Updates
Project Overview and Purpose
Why is this replacement needed?
U.S. 70 Business is a primary corridor not only for traffic in Smithfield, but for motorists traveling in eastern North Carolina due to its direct connection to U.S. 70 and I-95. An average of 25,000 vehicles currently cross this bridge per day.
The 89 year-old bridge is deemed functionally obsolete by NCDOT, which means it no longer meets current design standards for lane width, shoulders or rails. Replacing the bridge will ensure safe, reliable transportation for travelers in eastern North Carolina and visitors to Smithfield and Johnston County.
Project Highlights and Facts
Utility relocation completion dates;
- Town of Smithfield (Power) – completed work 11-30-11
- Progress Energy (Power) – completed work 04-09-12
- CATV (Time Warner) – completed work 04-10-12
- Fiber Optics Communications (BTI) – completed work 05-04-12
- Telephone (Century Link) – completed work 07-12-12
The following utilities were relocated under a utility contract with R.D. Braswell:
- Water and Sewer (Town of Smithfield) – completed work 3-23-12
- Sewer (Johnston County) – completed work 3-23-12
- March 2012 – $5.3 million contract for construction awarded to D.H. Griffin Construction Co. of Raleigh.
- September 2012 – Crews begin on-site preparations first week of the month.
- September 25, 2012 – Bridge closes to all traffic that evening.
- September 26, 2012 – Demolition and construction begins.
- Summer 2013 – Bridge reopens to traffic.
- January 1, 2014 – All remaining work complete. Project done.
Only the bridge and the approaches over the Neuse River will be closed during construction. All streets in downtown Smithfield will remain open. All through traffic not planning to stop in Smithfield is encouraged to take one of the signed detour routes outside of Smithfield. Please see the map on this website for more information.
- Downtown Smithfield traffic heading west on U.S. 70 Business/West Market Street will turn right on Third Street, right on North Street, left on Buffalo Road and left on the Booker Dairy Road Extension/M. Durwood Stephenson Highway back to U.S. 70 Business. Eastbound traffic will follow the reverse route.
- Other Smithfield traffic heading west on U.S. 70 Business will turn right on Brightleaf Boulevard/U.S. 301, left on Booker Dairy Road and continue on the Booker Dairy Road Extension/M. Durwood Stephenson Highway back to U.S. 70 Business. Eastbound traffic will follow the reverse route. Other signed alternate routes will be in place for in town traffic.
- Through traffic will be detoured on routes including the U.S. 70 Bypass, U.S. 70, U.S. 301 and N.C. 210.
- Pedestrian traffic on the Smithfield Neuse Riverwalk near the bridge will be detoured onto the sidewalk on First Street. Detour signs and barricades will be in place during the project.
Length of Closure and Contractor Incentives
The bridge will be closed the night of September 25, 2012 for 240 days, or the equivalent of eight months.
The contract for the project includes incentives for the contractor to open the bridge to traffic in less than 240 days. For each day under 240 days that the contractor is able to open the bridge, $5,000 will be paid to the contractor with a maximum of $300,000.
For every day over 240 that the bridge is closed, the contractor will be fined $5,000. There will not be a maximum to the amount that the contractor can be fined.
Wendi Johnson, Division Construction Engineer
NCDOT Transportation Division 4
- Phone: (252) 237-6164
509 Ward Boulevard
Wilson, NC 27895
Andy Mullis, Project Manager
D.H. Griffin Construction Company
- Phone: (919) 835-3655
431 Raleigh View Road
Raleigh, NC 27610
Resources for Local Property Owners
In many cases, it is inevitable that a certain amount of private property must be acquired. The displacement of homes and businesses is minimized to the extent practicable. The following brochures will answer questions about this process.