Only one primary route in Bladen County still impassable

By: Alan Wooten - Bladen Journal

The U.S. 701 bridge at the county line near Garland is the only primary route in Bladen County that remains impassable following Hurricane Florence.

The N.C. Department of Transportation released an update on road conditions for Division 6, which includes Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Robeson and Harnett counties. The headquarters are in Fayetteville; a division office is between Elizabethtown and White Lake.

Division 6 had 248 road closures in the storm’s aftermath. There were 201 bridges closed by the storm, and about 200 roads washed out. Three rivers caused problems with Interstate 95.

There are 17 roads that remained impassable as of Tuesday. The five primary routes included:

• U.S. 701 at the Bladen-Sampson County line: A new bridge is needed, and a design-construction team has been selected.

• N.C. 210 in Cumberland County: Two box-shaped culverts need to be repaired, and the work is expected to be completed next month.

• N.C. 27 in Harnett County: The roadway at the bridge failed. The pavement will be repaired this month to reopen the bridge.

• N.C. 82 in Harnett County: Failed drainage pipes must be replaced. The work is under contract and expected to be completed by November.

• N.C. 904 in Robeson County: The road washed out. Repairs to reopen the road are anticipated to be completed later this month.

The DOT said every road, with the exception of the bridge near Garland, should be open by Thanksgiving. The division has 168 employees and 35 contractors working on storm recovery.

“It is amazing what our employees have been able to accomplish since this storm hit almost three weeks ago,” said Drew Cox, the Division 6 maintenance engineer. “They have repaired shoulders, fixed pavement and replaced drainage pipes to get our road network back in shape quickly.”

The division has received reinforcements from NCDOT crews who traveled from western North Carolina, which was less impacted by the storm. The 52 employees from Highway Divisions 11 and 14 have been removing storm debris across the Division 6 counties, a news release said.

“They have been a tremendous help to our recovery effort,” Cox said.

Alan Wooten

Bladen Journal