By Tameka Kenan-Norman, City of Rocky Mount NC
The widening project underway on the US 301 Bypass in Nash County will require the North Carolina Department of Transportation to close the Sunset Avenue bridge on Monday, October 16, 2017.
NCDOT is adding a travel lane in either direction on a two-mile segment of the bypass (Wesleyan Boulevard) between May Drive and Benvenue Road, next to Golden East Crossing Mall in Rocky Mount.
As part of the project, the Sunset Avenue bridge must be rebuilt with higher spans that also will accommodate the extra lanes being added to Wesleyan Boulevard. The bridge will be closed for about 14 months.
While closed, traffic on Wesleyan Boulevard will be allowed to use three of the four on and off ramps of the Sunset Avenue interchange. The exit ramp from eastbound Sunset Avenue onto U.S. 301 headed north will remain closed for crews to make the loop wider.
The following signed detour routes will be used during construction:
- A detour for eastbound traffic on Sunset Avenue will direct motorists to the U.S. 64 Bypass at Exit 467; then east to Exit 469; then North Church Street to North Franklin Street to West Thomas Street and onto Sunset Avenue.
- The westbound detour will start at the Sunset Avenue interchange with Wesleyan Boulevard, to Exit 468 of the U.S. 64 Bypass, then to Exit 467 and back onto Sunset Avenue.
To help reduce traffic delays during construction on the boulevard, NCDOT has prevented the contractor from closing lanes during the morning and afternoon rush hours. Motorists, however, will encounter temporary detours off the boulevard at night.
Additionally, a temporary two-lane bridge will be erected over Stoney Creek near Lowe’s, so crews can widen the existing US 301 bridges while keeping four lanes of traffic open during the project.
Transportation officials remind motorists to slow down in work zones, obey all posted signs and allow extra time during construction.
NCDOT awarded a $28 million contract to PLT Construction of Wilson for the project. The work began in late July and is scheduled to be substantially complete by early 2020.