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Wednesday, 26 October 2011 12:45

Rerouting lines gets bridge project off to a slow start

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Although work has barely begun, the replacement of Park Street Bridge in Canton has already hit a delay.

The project was previously slated for completion on Nov. 5, 2012, but the date has been pushed back to Dec. 1. The hiccup was caused by a delay in rerouting the utilities running adjacent to the bridge, said Mitchell Bishop, an engineer with the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

DOT knows which utilities must be moved before a contractor is awarded a project, and ideally, the lines are relocated before construction begins. However, sometimes, that is not possible, Bishop said.

Department of Transportation agents in Raleigh must work with myriad utility companies to move the cable, fiber, telephone and electrical lines either before or during project.

“We knew the water and sewer was going to be rerouted,” Bishop said, adding that the overhead power lines running along the bridge could not be moved until after the project began.

The actual razing and replacing of the Park Street bridge will not begin until the first couple weeks of November.

The bridge was built in 1924 and will cost about $3.5 million to replace.

The reconstruction will slow traffic on downtown Canton’s busiest one-way streets, Main and Park, which run parallel to each other. Cars typically leave Canton via the Park Street bridge and enter the town using the Main Street bridge. However, the project will require Main Street become a two-way street while the other bridge is closed. A dog-leg detour will reroute traffic around the construction.

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