NCDOT releases possible timeline for Redwood Road re-opening

DURHAM, NC (WTVD) -- NCDOT officials have provided an update on the bridge construction on Redwood Road, a stretch of roadway that has been closed since Hurricane Matthew damages in October 2016.

According to a detailed contract proposal, bids on the project will open May 23.

Following a review of the bids and contract, work is expected to begin as early as June 13.

With that timeline, officials hope the bridge will re-open by September 21.

"You have to build it so water won't flow into the construction site. So it's a lot of work. It's a very complicated project to do, and it's decided a bridge would give us less environmental impact," explained NCDOT spokesperson Steve Abbott.

While news of progress is welcomed, it comes amidst growing frustration about what many along the road feel has been slow progress.

"We shouldn't have to wait this long to have one of our roads fixed, especially a main thoroughfare between the highway and town. It's ridiculous," said Don Twarkins, who lives on Farmwood Road, right off of Redwood.

Wednesday afternoon, he stopped by his neighbors' home across the road, where they discussed the ongoing issues.

"It's hard to break a 48-year habit," Brenda Maynard explained.

That habit is simply turning right out of the driveway of her home. What was once open roadway is now replaced by a "Road Closed" sign.

"Now you've got to go all the way up around and come back and turn around and come back around, you're going around your elbow to get to your thumb," Maynard said.

She estimated it adds five minutes of travel each way.

That would mean a round trip a day would add more than an hour of travel time weekly.

"It's aggravating," said Willard Doss, who lives along Redwood Road.

Doss explained that he's seen many visitors hoping to fish or relax along Falls Lake be forced to turn around to get to their destination.

Besides the time and extra gas money, neighbors are also concerned about trash not making its way to the nearby dump.

"Others that come down from the other side of town or whatever, dumping trash all over the place. It's always a mess, somebody's got to come clean it up," said Twarkins.

On Wednesday, there were two mattresses lying on the side of Hereford Road, right near the "Road Closed" sign that blocks Redwood Road.

Another homeowner was worried about the ability for emergency vehicles to access the roadway quickly.

Abbott explained that because of the location of the construction, federal and state environmental permits are needed for bridge construction.

He added that a culvert 20-30 feet below the ground was blown up by Hurricane Matthew.

In a follow-up written statement, Abbott noted officials believe the roadway will see increasingly more traffic moving forward.

There are 850 vehicles a day that use the bridge, though that number is expected to double by 2025.

Costs are unknown because bids have not yet been submitted.
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