Just one short phase remains before a major bridge project in Jackson County is functionally complete.
A contractor for the N.C. Department of Transportation will begin the final phase of replacing the bridge in Dillsboro on Haywood Road over Scott Creek and Smoky Mountain Railroad on Monday.
Crews closed Haywood Road east of Depot Street on Monday, March 29, and detour traffic on U.S. 23/74, the same route used in the early stages of construction. Old Home Town Road will remain open for residents to access Dillsboro Road.
Crews from Wright Brothers Construction plan to take two weeks to pave the final surface, install new signals, add striping and reflective markers, and then reopen the road and new bridge to traffic the week after Easter.
Construction began last summer with an expedited plan that cut construction time from three years to nine months by closing the road instead of reducing lanes and building a temporary bridge. The plan also saved $3 million from the estimated cost with the Town of Dillsboro receiving $452,000 of the savings as part of an agreement with the contractor.
Transportation officials remind drivers to plan extra time into travel plans to account for the detour — U.S. 441, U.S. 23/74 and Grindstaff Cove Road — and to obey all posted signs.