Originally Posted by cooperwx
The N&O article mentions that NCDOT says keeping the bridge open while building a new one was not an option, but did not explain why.
It was an alternative that was considered and ruled out because of the availability of an acceptable detour.
In the 1980's the USACOE built the emergency spillway bridge which is immediately following the bridge over the Neuse River. Because of the location of the bridges in relation to each other both would have to be replaced if a bridge was built on a new alignment. It is just impossible to do an alignment that will only replace one bridge other than replacing the existing one in-place. The bridge over the spillway does not need replacing.
To build on a new alignment would more than triple the cost of the project.
Another thing to consider is that the old mill condo's are listed on the National Register for Historic Places. A new alignment option would more than likely be ruled an adverse affect on the property since NCDOT would have to take a good portion of the entrance and the front parking lot. The parking areas would have to be redone since the entrance would be relocated away from the bridge site.