Rain delays I-26 bridge work

Crews hope to begin work today on paving the damaged Interstate 26 bridge in Henderson County, after heavy rain late Thursday and early Friday prevented them from completing the job.

The bridge was damaged late Tuesday when a tractor-trailer carrying sulfuric acid overturned and caught fire near the eastbound lanes of the bridge, which is 225 feet above the Green River. The eastbound lanes of I-26, a heavily traveled route between the North Carolina mountains and the Carolinas Piedmont, have been closed since then.

The N.C. Department of Transportation says it hopes to begin resurfacing the bridge deck today with a special type of high-strength concrete. After the concrete has dried, crews will replace a damaged guardrail.

Amanda Perry, a spokeswoman for the DOT, says crews hope to have the eastbound lanes reopened this weekend. Heavy traffic is expected Saturday and Sunday, with Easter weekend travel.

The heavy rain ended around daybreak Friday, but drizzle and light rain continued to fall in Henderson County at mid-morning.

Eastbound traffic is being detoured off I-26 at Exit 54, then routed down U.S. 25 to S.C. 11 and back to I-26.