The westbound span of the Wright Memorial Bridge has reopened and it’s mostly finished . . . well, 2/3 finished. The original projections that the resurfacing would be completed with only minor work on the expansion joints to be finished late at night seem to have fallen to the reality of a harsh winter.
Crossing the bridge there is no doubt where the repaving work ends. The first 2/3 of the bridge coming from the Outer Banks is a wonderfully smooth ride. The smooth ride ends about a mile from the Currituck County side where the surface, milled in preparation for laying down the new road. begins. That is followed by 400 or 500 yards of what is clearly the original road.
The project, begun last September. called for the contractor to finish all work by May 15, with contingency plans for a September-May in case the work was not completed on time.
In an interview last winter, John Abel who is the Bridge Construction Supervisor on the project for NCDOT, indicated department engineers felt it would take two years to finish the repaving work. The contractor was confident that the whole process could be competed in one year.
The surface that is being used is a latex modified conctete—a material that is expensive and difficult to apply. However, it offers a substantially longer useable lifespan than any other road surface material.