BLOWING ROCK — The replacement of the bridge at the Tweetsie Railroad entrance will take place starting April 15, 2020 — delayed from September 2019 due to an error, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
“NCDOT found an error during right-of-way acquisition that would have landlocked a property owner,” NCDOT spokesperson David Uchiyama said. “We made a revision that allows the property owner to access the new alignment.”
As a result, the project, which will align the new Tweetsie bridge and intersection with Middle Fork Road, a few dozen yards up the highway, was delayed as to avoid having an idle project during the winter months.
“The right-of-way acquisition and plan revision delayed the project to the point that there was not going to be enough time to build the new culvert before the start of the trout buffer moratorium that is part of our environmental permits,” Uchiyama said.
The bridge at Tweetsie, originally constructed in 1961, will be replaced with a box culvert relocated downstream to the north of the existing bridge, Uchiyama said.
“The contractor plans to start on April 15, 2020 — the end of the trout buffer moratorium,” Uchiyama said. “ From there, the contractor has 120 consecutive calendar days to complete this culvert.”
The current bridge, which is under NCDOT right-of-way ownership, will remain until the new bridge and culvert is completed, Uchiyama previously said. After the new bridge/culvert is completed, the old bridge will be demolished.
In April 2018, the project was awarded to Blythe Development of Charlotte. The Tweetsie Railroad Lane bridge was packaged with a bridge replacement for N.C. 194 over Old Field Creek in Lansing, located in Ashe County, for $2.6 million, NCDOT announced at the time.