Opening of Slocum Creek bridge delayed again


A construction worker walks across the Slocum Creek bridge on Tuesday. The bridge was expected to open over the Labor Day weekend, but officials cited recent rains for yet another delay. The bridge is now scheduled to open Sept. 20.

Ken Buday/Havelock News
Published: Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 02:38 PM.

Transportation officials had expected to open the Slocum Creek bridge over the Labor Day weekend. Then the rains came.

Once again, the bridge’s opening has been delayed, this time with an expected opening of Sept. 20 — if the weather cooperates.

“It’s gone smoothly, but it’s gone slowly,” said Brad McMannen, an assistant resident engineer with the N.C. Department of Transportation. “With any construction project, sometimes you have good weather and no problems and sometimes the weather hits you in unforeseen circumstances, so on this one I think every time we get moving something throws us for a loop. We’re thinking if we can get this one section dried out, we should be able to do it in three weeks. We’re trying to get it completed.”

McMannen said recent rains have kept the road subgrade from drying out, preventing paving, and improperly installed drainage pipe would have to be reinstalled, causing the latest delay.

The $2.8 million contract to build the new bridge, tear down the old Church Road Bridge and realign Church Road to intersect the service road on the east side of Slocum Creek has been beset with delays. The bridge was expected to open in May, but utility worked delayed the opening until July. Officials then pushed the opening date to Labor Day.

McMannen said the contractor, Palmetto Construction, has been assessed $38,000 in penalties for the delays.

McMannen said recent rain has resulted in the foundation of the western approach to the new bridge to be too wet to proceed.

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