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Why didn’t DOT complete the I-140 connector before replacing the Memorial Bridge’s cables?

Patrick Gannon
StarNews

Staff Photo by Mike Spencer.

Q. Why didn’t the NCDOT push to complete the entire I-140 connector before the upcoming scheduled replacement of the Memorial Bridge’s cables? Do they not realize the impact that the extended bridge closing will have on this area or do they just don’t care?

A. First, the state Department of Transportation pays for construction projects and maintenance projects out of separate pots of money, and they don’t cross, said Karen Fussell, division engineer with DOT Division 3.

Also, it will be a few years before Interstate 140 is completed, and replacing the cables was necessary in the shorter term.

“The maintenance of an existing structure is just that,” Fussell said. “You don’t want to wait until failure. …When they evaluate the bridge, once that is noted as a deficiency, we have to schedule that repair.”

She also said she understands the reaction of the public to inconveniences, as the primary function of the DOT is to promote efficient flow of traffic. But, she said, if the DOT had waited on the repairs, the cable issue could have created a much larger problem that would have taken longer to repair.

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One Response to “ Why didn’t DOT complete the I-140 connector before replacing the Memorial Bridge’s cables?”

  1. On November 3, 2012 at 11:46 am Jay wrote:

    Actually Ms. Fussel, that is not the primary function of NCDOT. According to the department’s website, it is:

    Mission:
    Connecting people and places safely and efficiently, with accountability and environmental sensitivity to enhance the economy, health and well-being of North Carolina.

    Goals:
    Make our transportation network safer.
    Make our transportation network move people and
    goods more efficiently
    Make our infrastructure last longer.
    Make our organization a place that works well.
    Make our organization a great place to work.