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    Temporary Trestle for Harkers Island Bridge Replacement Project Gets a Fast Start

    January 26, 2022


    Balfour Beatty brought in the new year celebrating completion of the first milestone on the $60 million Harkers Island Bridge Replacement project for the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

    In January, the team completed the first 2,380 feet of the trestle bridge that will serve as the temporary access and footprint to begin building a new bridge that will replace the two 50-year-old bridges in Carteret County, connecting the mainland to the island.

    Located adjacent to the footprint of the new bridge, the trestle extends from the mainland to the edge of the navigable boating channel. The trestle is part of Phase 1 of the project for Balfour Beatty to complete in-water work activities before an annual fish moratorium begins in April and lasts through October.

    “This is pretty much the fastest start of construction at this magnitude that I’ve seen,” said Pete Distefano, project manager. “An incredible team was assembled, and this would not have been possible without a tremendous amount of planning. More importantly, the dedication from crews who worked around the clock through the holiday season is a testament of our commitment to excellence on this project.”

    To put this rapid start in perspective, Balfour Beatty was awarded the project in mid-August 2021 and mobilized construction by September 1. On October 1, the team broke ground on the trestle. With the upcoming fish moratorium in mind, the team implemented a night shift operation working toward meeting this critical goal.

    Also, as part of Phase 1, Balfour Beatty has begun installation of a new pile technology designed with 24-inch, square, carbon fiber, prestressed concrete, making Harkers Island the first bridge in North Carolina with carbon fibers incorporated in the concrete foundation. The team plans to complete pile production to the navigable channel in March.

    Once pile driving is complete, the team will begin building substructure concrete, and then build the bridge superstructure during the summer, while also preparing for Phase 2 in October when the fish moratorium ends.  
    During Phase 2, the team will cross the channel using barges and begin building the remaining 1,000 feet of trestle and pile production working from the channel to the island.

    The new Harkers Island bridge will provide better, safer access to and from the island during emergencies and hurricane evacuations. The project is expected to be complete in spring 2025.