Here It Comes! Dawson Creek Bridge re-build should take a year

No temporary crossing. Travelers face lengthy detour.

PAMLICO COUNTY – About 12 miles or so from this spot, the ongoing Highway 55 bridge replacement across Trent Creek has gone smoothly with only minor disruptions – thanks in large part to a side-by-side bridge that Department of Transportation officials describe as an “on-site detour.” Unfortunately, the new Dawson Creek bridge requires an “off-site detour,” which translates into more time, gas, and mileage on the old clunker.

A big concern from residents who live on the east side of Dawson Creek is potential damage to old and magnificent Live Oak trees that line the waterfront in a small county park. One point of email contact in the vast DOT bureaucracy is: No harm done if you load up her Inbox with some type of SAVE THE TREES lobbying effort!!

State officials were kind enough to respond to some questions from this reporter, who happens to reside exactly one-quarter mile west of Dawson Creek (where it flows into the Neuse River).

Condition of existing bridge? This bridge was a clear choice for replacement considering its age, past repairs, daily traffic and weight limits.

  • The bridge was built in 1963.

  • The load ratings have been decreased over the years:

    • 21 tons for single vehicles

    • 28 tons for tractor trailers

Start date and expected duration of construction? The projected start date for construction is this fall. Construction is estimated to last about a year.

Specs on new Bridge — taller, perhaps? Clearance for boats?  Wider, perhaps?  – The bridge will remain the same height. The width of the bridge will be wider in accordance with current standard roadway specifications.

Any new features that might be of interest? The new bridge roadway will be 11-foot width lanes with a 4-foot shoulders to the north and 5-foot shoulder to the south.  There will be one 5.5-foot sidewalk on the south side of the bridge. The roadway leading to the bridge will have 11-foot wide roadway lanes with 2-foot wide paved shoulders.

Detour for cars of course, but will any small boat traffic be disrupted? The bridge will be closed, and the traffic will be detoured to Kershaw Road. Boat traffic will be maintained with only short periods of disruption for safety reasons during construction.

Regarding the inquiry about the trees, there are two that are on the east side of the bridge that are in jeopardy of being trimmed or possibly removed.

Dawson Creek Bridge Plans