The Slocum Creek boat ramp in Havelock is set to close temporarily as work begins to tear down the old Church Road Bridge.
Brad McMannen, Division 2 assistant resident engineer for the N.C. Department of Transportation, said the contractor’s plan to demolish the old bridge was approved Thursday. Work could begin any day, and crews have until the end of the month to complete the demolition. If the work is completed sooner, the boat ramp will re-open.
“We’ve got to close down the channel for navigation,” McMannen said. “There’s a safety concern there. We don’t want anybody going underneath it and something falls off and causes any kind of injury.”
McMannen said the old bridge will be cut up with saws and drills.
“They’ve got to cut the bridge in pieces by drilling holes, lifting different pieces with a crane to take them off,” he said.
A containment system will be built to capture any falling debris to prevent it from going into the water.
“Basically you can’t let any material fall into the water,” McMannen said. “We’ll use best management practices that are given out by the different environmental agencies.”
The demolition of the old bridge, constructed in 1924, clears the way for a new bridge that will connect services roads on both sides of the creek just off U.S. 70. Church Road is being reconfigured and will intersect the service road on the east side of the creek near the old Wendy’s restaurant.
Palmetto Contracting is in charge of the project.