Ellis Street bridge closed for repairs
By Shelley Smithssmith@salisburypost.com
The city of Salisbury has been asked by the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Inspections Department to temporarily close the North Ellis Street bridge to traffic until repairs are made. The temporary closure comes after a failed inspection.
The deck of the bridge, which must be repaired, has been marked with orange paint. The bridge, also known as the Shober Bridge, was closed for traffic Wednesday morning.
“The bridge will be closed somewhere between a couple of weeks and a couple of months,” Dan Mikkelson said, director of engineering and development for Salisbury.
Mikkelson suggests drivers using the at-grade railroad crossing at Fulton Street, one street over from Ellis.
The Salisbury City Council plans to hold a public hearing and vote on the future of the Ellis Street bridge during a meeting Jan. 5 at 4 p.m. Council members have the choice to either replace the bridge or make major repairs. Even if Council members voted to keep the bridge, the deck repairs currently being made would still be needed.
“It’s worth the expense to repair the bridge,” Mikkelson said. “It would take at least two years to get to the point for construction to begin on the new bridge. If Council votes to save the bridge, we would need to do the deck repairs anyway.”
Mikkelson said the deck repairs have to be coordinated with Norfolk Southern Railroad, and will take several weeks or months to coordinate the repairs and re-open the bridge.
While the repairs are being made, the traffic light at the intersection of Cemetery and Ellis streets will become a flashing light, with drivers on Cemetery Street seeing a flashing yellow signal, and Ellis Street a red signal.