DUNN, N.C. (WNCN) — The Pope Road bridge that crosses Interstate 95 at Exit 72 could be shut down for at least a month, after a truck hauling an excavator damaged two steel beams.
The truck passed under it on I-95 when the load slammed into the bridge on Monday, the North Carolina Department of Transportation said.
“This happens, I would guess, probably once or twice a year,” Andrew Barksdale with NCDOT said.
For bridges spanning I-95 in the Dunn area, there is a 14.5-feet height clearance. There are warning signs for about 10 miles in Harnett County.
“The section of I-95 in Dunn opened to traffic in the late ’50s and it’s a really old section and an old standard for bridges for interstates,” Barksdale said.
NCDOT is replacing 13 overpasses and bridges crossing the interstate. The replacements will be longer and taller.
“All the new bridges will be 16 to 17, 17-and-a-half feet tall,” the NCDOT spokesman said.
It’s part of the billion-dollar construction project to turn the interstate into eight lanes. Though the bridge won’t be replaced until next year.
“We have to time everything out. We can’t close all the bridges all at once. Then people can’t get on and off the highway,” Barksdale said.
NCDOT crews will be out testing inspecting the damage Wednesday.