Repairs finally made to U.S. 158 in Currituck

By on June 4, 2013

RPC Contracting crews were repaving the Barco intersection on Tuesday afternoon (Sam Walker).

RPC Contracting crews were repaving the Barco intersection on Tuesday afternoon (Sam Walker).

Long-delayed work was finally done Tuesday on parts of U.S. 158 in Currituck County where problems had developed after last year’s repaving project.

The top layer of asphalt, known as “friction course,” had rubbed off the base pavement in part of the Barco intersection and at other locations not long after the project was finished in the fall of 2012.

Large ruts developed in the southbound lanes approaching the intersection of N.C. 168 and U.S. 158, and the westbound U.S. 158 lanes heading toward Elizabeth City.

The ruts expanded over the winter and spring as hundreds of thousands of vehicles crossed the busy intersection.

As traffic turns at the intersection on to Shortcut Road toward Elizabeth City, the gravel- like substance had also worn away from the base layer in the center of the intersection, piling up on each side of the travel lanes.

A similar problem also cropped up in the northbound lanes between the Knapp Memorial Bridge and Currituck High School, and at the intersection of Buster Newbern Road.

Daniel Ots, assistant resident engineer for the NCDOT Elizabeth City construction office, said the department and RPC Contracting of Kitty Hawk were immediately aware of the problem when it started in November and worked out the details on how to fix it and who will pay for it.

“They have taken full responsibility for the problems and are ready to get it fixed,” Ots said in an April interview with the Voice. “This will be a major repair.”

RPC crews spent Monday milling down the effected areas, then reapplied the friction course in the affected areas on Tuesday.

The total project cost $13.4 million and involved removing the old asphalt and applying a new base layer and friction course from Barco to the Wright Memorial Bridge in Point Harbor.

“The friction course allows the water to go down through the asphalt, down to the underlying layer,” Ots said. “Once it gets down to that layer, it will travel along the slope of the road until it runs off on the shoulders.”

The original plan was to make the repairs before Memorial Day weekend, but the cooler-than- normal spring pushed the schedule back.

“The friction course has certain air temperature constraints,” said Ots. “It is difficult to work with.”

When the final layer of asphalt was being laid at the Barco intersection, traffic trying to turn west on U.S. 158 towards Elizabeth City was detoured to Barco Road, which is less than a mile farther north.

But a number of travelers ignored the barrels placed in the lanes, and drove over the hot asphalt almost as it was being applied.

On Tuesday, numerous barrels and more signs were in place to direct motorists trying to turn left on U.S. 158 to a detour along Barco Road.

Some drivers insisted on trying to make the turn at the intersection even as asphalt trucks were dumping their loads into the pavers, and the giant rollers were smoothing it out.

A few who wanted to turn left decided to make a u-turn in the parking lot of the adjacent 7-11, and insisted on trying to turn right from the southbound lanes.

But RPC and NCDOT crews were able to keep them off the hot asphalt and force them to continue south, and eventually follow the detour.

It didn’t take long for the asphalt to be ready for traffic.

The barrels were all gone and traffic was flowing through the intersection as normal during the evening commute.

On Wednesday morning, workers returned to pave the lanes traveling towards Elizabeth City from the intersection, and later in the day were making spot repairs to small sections in Coinjock.


Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: Roofing

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).


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