03/28/07 — Kelly Springs Road to reopen by Thursday

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Kelly Springs Road to reopen by Thursday

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on March 28, 2007 1:45 PM

Kelly Springs Road, which has been closed for almost seven months after being washed out by Tropical Storm Ernesto, is expected to open by Thursday, state transportation officials said.

The road is already paved, but crews will be working today to finish any needed additional paving on the shoulders and paint in the dividing lines, said Jerry Page, division project manager with the state Department of Transportation.

Kelly Springs Road, which is about three miles east of Mount Olive and connects Wayne and Duplin counties, was severely damaged during Tropical Storm Ernesto last September and it has been closed ever since.

Repairs to the road fell behind other road projects with higher traffic counts. When Ernesto blew through Wayne County, heavy rains broke the dam at Cogdell Pond, causing a large sinkhole on U.S. 70 in the eastbound lanes between Perkins Mill and Claridge Nursery roads. That $500,000 repair project took contractors about two and a half months to fix.

Construction workers have been at the Kelly Springs Road site making repairs for about the past month, said Jimmy Marler, a state transportation division bridge superintendent.

Much of the initial work was to repair the damage done under the road, he added. Rain brought by Ernesto caused three pipes to cave in under Kelly Springs Road, which weakened the entire bridge.

Although it took several weeks to obtain the needed construction permits from state agencies, Marler said the crew used that time to create the box culvert that would support a new bridge.

The final product was a 26,000-pound aluminum culvert, which was placed earlier this month.