New Bern Bypass

by Stuart Matthis, P.E., Principal; Ralph Whitehead Assocs., Inc., Charlotte, NC,
Wayne Jones, Proj. Mgr.; Traylor Brothers, Evansville, IL,
John Frye, P.E., Consultant Coordinator for Struct. Design Proj.; North Carolina Dept. of Transp., NC,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2000, Vol. 70, Issue 4, Pg. 62-65

Document Type: Feature article


To alleviate congestion and offer tourists easier access to their destinations, the North Carolina Department of Transportation decided to reroute U.S. Route 17 out of the historic town of New Bern, North Carolina, and build a new Neuse River Bridge to replace the deteriorating timber and steel crossing that had stood since the 1940s. The new bridge is a 70 ft (21 m) high, 10,000 ft (0.8 km) long steel girder crossing that includes seven ramp and three loop interchanges. Among the toughest challenges was designing and constructing ramps that needed to span over the water to avoid another historic town. The main crossing features multishaft hammerhead bents supported by drilled shafts ranging from 30 to 72 in. (762 to 1,829 mm), and steel casing and bentonite slurry walls that protect the bottoms of the shafts from hydrostatic pressure.

Subject Headings: Steel bridges | Shafts | Historic sites | Girder bridges | Wood bridges | Wood and wood products | Traffic congestion

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