BLADEN COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - The N.C. Department of Transportation said the northbound bridge on U.S. 701 in Bladen County will remain closed as NCDOT crews identify a plan to repair substructure damage caused by Hurricane Florence floodwaters.
The bridge was closed Thursday ahead of a planned inspection Friday morning. That inspection revealed soils weakened by the hurricane caused an interior bridge pier to shift.
As a safety precaution, the department will keep the bridge closed until engineers develop a plan for fixing the pier.
In general terms, the interior pier forms the substructures and pile foundation that supports the girders and riding deck.
Once a plan is developed for the repair, the department can establish a schedule for reopening the bridge.
In the meantime, northbound traffic will remain shifted onto the two-lane southbound bridge, which will operate in a two-way traffic pattern during the closure.