The North Carolina Department of Transportation has closed a bridge on Herring Road in Dudley after inspectors discovered an undisclosed safety problem underneath the structure Friday, according to a DOT press release sent today.

According to the release, the department was already planning on replacing the bridge, a 64-year-old structure over Yellow Marsh Branch in Dudley.

Closing the bridge now will save the department tens of thousands of dollars on repairs, which would otherwise go to waste when the bridge is ultimately replaced with a modern span.

The bridge is one of several slated to be replaced in a contract awarded to T.A. Loving Company.

The DOT is working with T.A. Loving to speed up the process on Herring Road, which should start "soon after utilities that are in conflict with construction are relocated," according to the release.

The project is estimated to take around four months to complete once underway.

In the meantime, a detour will direct drivers onto South Landfill, Durham Lake, O'Berry and Massey roads to avoid the bridge, which is close to another detour for the overpass and interchange that NCDOT is building with U.S. 117 and O'Berry Road.