Blasting begins today on I-85 in Davidson County

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LINWOOD, N.C. — DOT crews on Friday will begin blasting along I-85 in Davidson County.

The blasting was originally supposed to begin Tuesday, but was postponed due to weather conditions.  It will start around noon just south of Clark Road.

Crews will resume blasting on Monday and Tuesday, weather permitting.  If the blasting is postponed again due to weather, it will be completed on Monday, July 8, DOT officials said.  No blasting will take place between July 3 and 7, they added.

The blasting is a necessary step so the N.C. DOT can widen 3.8 miles of I-85 to eight lanes from just north of N.C. 150 to just north of I-85 Business, which is part of the northern segment of the I-85 Corridor Improvement Project.

Rolling roadblocks will be in effect while the blasting takes place.  Crews will inspect the interstate for rock and debris before the roadblocks are removed.

Officials say the blasts should not create more than a “low popping sound.”  They should not be felt at nearby homes or businesses.

The blasts will break up hard bedrock close to the surface where the new lanes of I-85 will be placed.  Once the rock is fractured into smaller pieces, it can be removed with trackhoes, after which drainage ditches and slopes can be built.

The work is part of the long-term effort underway to widen I-85 to create four lanes in each direction.  DOT crews broke ground in the fall of 2010 on the southern segment of the $201.5 million project, which involves replacing eight bridges and widening 3.3 miles of I-85.

Work on the southern segment has been completed, while work on the northern segment is anticipated to be complete by late summer.  When completed, the project will help to reduce congestion, improve safety and ensure that this important piece of the region’s transportation system meets the needs of drivers into the future.

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