GARLAND — Traffic leaving Bladen County via U.S. 701 and headed into Garland is being detoured before it reaches the Sampson County line.
The Department of Transportation has to replace one of the four bridges near the county line that carry motorists across the South River. The damage was incurred from Hurricane Florence and the flooding that followed.
“The storm caused a lot of damage to the bridge and the road surrounding to it at U.S. 701 at the Bladen-Sampson county line, so much damage that we have to replace it,” said Andrew Barksdale, a spokesman for DOT. “We weren’t planning to replace it, so we are working post haste to develop a bid proposal to hire a team to express design and build it.”
The bridge will be closed for six months to a year, Barksdale said.
The DOT’s original detour route was being shortened to use N.C. 210 and Helltown Road, the latter of which had been impassable but has since been readied for traffic.
A significant amount of wood and debris flowed toward the bridges after Hurricane Florence. The storm made landfall on Sept. 14 near Wrightsville Beach, then stayed between Wilmington and Myrtle Beach for about three days dumping two to three feet of rain on the eastern and southeastern section of North Carolina.
Extensive flooding followed, including the South River. U.S. 701 south of Garland was impassable for several days, and areas north of Garland toward Ingold and Clinton were also impassable due to the flooding and destruction of roadways.
Logs and other debris from upstream in the South River flowed toward the bridges that carry U.S. 701 traffic just south of Garland. This was the scene Sept. 20, a week after Hurricane Florence made landfall. The DOT said Thursday that one of the bridges would need be replaced, causing a closure of six months to a year.
Alan Wooten can be reached at 910-247-9132 or email@example.com. Twitter: @alanwooten19.