Tuckasegee bridge to be replaced

A $3.4-million contract to replace the T. Walter Middleton Bridge on N.C. 107 over the Tuckasegee River in Jackson County has been awarded to a Whittier company.

Owle Construction Co. will build a new bridge that will be widened from 20 feet to 50 feet with three lanes, shoulders and a sidewalk to reduce costs, improve safety and cut down congestion.

Work will begin as early as April 30, with final completion scheduled for no later than Jan. 11, 2015. An on-site detour will be in place during the project.

Last March, the state department of transportation decided to postpone the replacement of the bridge to allow for more time to consult with the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians to study and document Native American archaeological findings uncovered at the project site.

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