A bridge too slow

September 8, 2009 

The state Department of Transportation has offered two construction options for Smithfield's new bridge crossing the Neuse River: One will take two years and completely cut off traffic from the west through the downtown business district, the other three years with traffic disrupted for the entire time (news story, Aug. 29).

Neither should be acceptable. Why will it so long to complete this project? Construction of the 102-story Empire State Building started with excavation in January 1930 and was completed less than one and a half years later.

North Carolina grants tens of millions of dollars in tax incentives to entice new business. Why can't we support our existing businesses by spending the money needed to keep crews working on disruptive projects like this continuously, multiple shifts per day? Without the prolonged periods of little to no activity I've seen on similar projects, contractors should be able to demolish and replace this bridge in six months or less.

George Hess


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