A bridge carrying U.S. 70 Business over Interstate 95 is closed after the driver of a tractor-trailer truck carrying frozen chickens fell asleep at the wheel and struck a concrete support early Tuesday morning, according to the State Highway Patrol.
Chesley Barnes of Maxton was headed southbound on I-95 near mile marker 95 at about 3:11 a.m. when he drifted off the road, hit the shoulder guardrail and the bridge concrete support, said Trooper C.E. Summerlin. Barnes, 54, was transported to Wake Medical Center in Raleigh with minor injuries and was charged with reckless driving, Summerlin said.
Southbound I-95 was closed while the N.C. Department of Transportation assessed the damage and determined if the bridge was structurally sound enough to travel on and under. The southbound lanes of the interstate reopened by about noon, but U.S. 70 Business remains closed.
NCDOT spokesman Steve Abbott said Tuesday afternoon that no timetable had been set for reopening the bridge, but DOT officials were meeting with a contractor to see if emergency repairs could be completed. The temporary repairs would be made permanent in the future, Abbott said.
“The key issue is determining whether we can make the bridge safe for travel with those temporary repairs,” Abbott said. “If not, then it will remain closed until the more permanent repairs can take place.”
The truck involved in the wreck was owned by Mountaire Farms Inc. of Lumber Bridge, Summerlin said.