I-26 Construction Backs-up Traffic

Updated: Friday, August 29 2014, 07:28 AM EDT
I-26 Construction Backs-up Traffic story image
A new portion of the I-26 bridge has now opened for drivers heading east and southbound.

However, the new pattern change is one that includes a tricky jog for drivers. News 13 went to check out conditions at rush hour Thursday.

Hundreds of commuters were moving at around 5 mph as they traveled through a new construction pattern set up across the bridge.

"It shouldn't be a problem for folks," said Rick Tipton, Division Construction Engineer. "But it's just going to take some getting adjusted to."

Tipton has worked for DOT for 24 years and oversees Division 13 that includes projects in seven western North Carolina counties including Buncombe County and the bridge project off Brevard road.

"Southbound traffic has been moved to the portion of the bridge that was just completed," Tipton said. Work will continue in the bridge's center.

"Then the northbound-westbound traffic will be moved into that work when it's completed. The westbound bridge will then be demolished," Tipton said.

When heading east on I-26, the signs will warn you construction is ahead. The speed limit is now down to 50 mph on the stretch for drivers crossing the bridge.

The east and southbound two lanes now have a jog to them as drivers head over the new roadway now open. Tipton said he expects this to be the pattern for drivers for at least the next twelve to eighteen months. The project is expected to be done by April 2016.

by Kimberly King
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