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One lane of St. Matthews Church Road to reopen

N.C. Department of Transportation

Relief is in sight for frustrated motorists who have not been able to use the St. Matthews Church Road Causeway in Rowan County.  One lane of traffic is set to reopen in February.

The road was closed in September 2013 after N.C. Department of Transportation work crews discovered large cracks in the pavement. An investigation late last year confirmed that the foundation of the 85-year-old causeway was crumbling and determined the causeway needed to be widened to support the traffic.

After the community, emergency response agencies and Rowan County elected officials said the closure was impacting safety and commerce in the area, the department found a way to safely open one lane of traffic, controlled by a temporary traffic signal on each end of the causeway, for local traffic and emergency vehicles until the permanent repairs can be made.

“While motorist safety is always our top priority, we wanted to be responsive to the concerns of the community,” said NCDOT Division 9 Engineer Pat Ivey. “The Rowan County Commissioners and Legislative delegation communicated citizens’ concerns and worked with DOT to help solve the problem.”

The Board of Transportation is set to approve $200,000 in statewide contingency funds when it meets in February. The funds will be used to install the two temporary traffic signals and guardrail or concrete barrier which will allow the road to reopen to local and emergency traffic. Commercial vehicles will be prohibited from using the road to minimize further damage.

The work is expected to be completed by the end of February. The causeway will be monitored for future damages while the roadway is open and NCDOT workers will continue to keep the safety of the citizens as their first priority.

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