Main Street bridge project and detour begin Monday in Durham

From staff reportsMay 9, 2013 



Work is scheduled to start Monday to replace the Main Street bridge over Campus Drive in Durham, which serves as the main link between Duke’s East and West Campuses.

A $1.9 million contract was awarded to replace the 63-year-old bridge with a bridge that meets current design standards, including a higher clearance over Campus Drive than the current bridge. It will retain the bike lanes already in place on both directions of Main Street.

The N.C. Department of Transportation waited until Monday to start the project to accommodate this weekend’s graduation activities at Duke. The contract calls for the project to be finished within 130 days, which would be Sept. 20. Work will be put on hold when Duke freshmen move onto East Campus the third week of August.

Portable message boards will be in place near the project site to alert drivers of the road closure. Main Street will be closed at Buchanan Boulevard east of the bridge. Traffic on the other side will be able to access Southgate Circle.

Traffic will be routed around the closure:

• Drivers going east on Main Street will take Swift Avenue to the Durham Freeway (N.C. 147) to Chapel Hill Street (Exit 13) to Duke Street to Main Street;

• Drivers going west on Main Street will take Gregson Street to Chapel Hill Street to the Durham Freeway to Swift Avenue (Exit 14) to Main Street;

• Trucks going South on Gregson Street will take Peabody Street to Main Street to Buchanan Boulevard to Chapel Hill Street to the Durham Freeway to Swift Avenue.

Campus Drive is expected to remain open during most of the construction. However, for the safety of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, it is expected to be closed when the demolition of the old bridge is scheduled to take place.

The Main Street closure also means routes for the City of Durham’s Bull City Connector and the Duke campus bus service will change.

The bridge replacement is part of a series of improvements made along more than a mile of Main Street, including resurfacing and the addition of bike lanes. About 12,600 vehicles a day use this stretch of Main Street.

NCDOT reminds motorists to watch signs for construction information, stay alert and obey the posted speed limit.

For more information, contact Assistant Resident Engineer Jamal Atkins at or 919-220-4680.

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