The state Department of Transportation will begin work this month to replace four bridges in Wake Forest that were deemed “structurally deficient” and “functionally obsolete.”
Workers will start with the Purnell Road bridge in the eastern part of town, and the project is expected to finish in June. The Forestville Road bridge is set to be replaced from April to August. The West Oak Avenue bridge will follow from July to December, and the Rogers Road bridge construction is set to begin in March 2016.
Each bridge will be completely demolished and replaced by a new one.
The projects will likely overlap, and the year-and-a-half construction schedule could change.
The DOT had said the bridges were safe but decided to replace them because of their age and structural issues.
A total of eight bridges in Wake County will be replaced in the next year or so, including one in Rolesville, for a cost of $9 million. The price of individual bridges will vary, said Austin Moore, assistant resident engineer for DOT.
The bridge replacements are part of an $810 million, four-year effort to repair or replace bridges throughout North Carolina.
While the state is paying for the new bridges, Wake Forest will chip in extra money for some upgrades, said Candace Davis, transportation planning manager for the town.
Wake Forest will spend $67,000 to widen the Forestville Road bridge and to add a pedestrian underpass for greenway access and a sidewalk for use by Heritage High School students.
The town will spend $1.4 million to widen the Rogers Road bridge to five lanes and to add sidewalks on both sides and a pedestrian underpass to connect to a greenway trail.
Meanwhile, a multi-use path, sidewalks and a pedestrian underpass near the West Oak Avenue bridge will provide easier access to the Richland Creek greenway and also give residents an additional route to Joyner Park.
Davis said the projects at Forestville and Rogers roads are the most pressing because they lead into major residential areas. Many pedestrians use the bridges to access businesses.
“(The projects) would provide an additional safe passage,” Davis said. “It will just help traffic flow and congestion.”