Hawthorne Street Bridge construction stalls; beams need to be replaced

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Part of the Hawthorne Street Bridge will have to be taken apart and rebuilt.

In January, Channel 9 reported there was a problem with the massive steel girders that stretched over East Independence Boulevard. Construction stopped on that part of the Gold Line extension while contractors figured out how to fix it.

[CATS not ruling out demolition, project delays after bridge construction failure]

Now, those girders have to all be taken down and new ones put in because they did not meet required specifications that were provided to the contractor building the Gold Line.

There isn’t a timeline for when this will be done, but officials said there will not be any extra cost to the city.

The project was scheduled to be complete by the end of March, but the Charlotte Area Transit System told Channel 9 that will not happen.

Officials said the process will now require additional inspections to ensure everything runs smoothly before it can be opened to the public.

Dalton Espaillat, who owns Sabor off Hawthorne Lane, said he hasn't planned for another delay in the Gold Line Phase 2 Project.

"I was hoping it was going to wrap up in April. It's been two years now," Espaillat said. "Even from customer feed back, people still come, it's a hassle, seeing sales drop. People are getting tired of detours or changes in traffic patterns in all that."

Resident Charles Pinson said he remembers the sound of construction crews working in the middle of the night when the previous steel hirder was removed in December 2017.

"Gunshots, repeated gunshots is what it sounded like," Pinson said.

Eventually the contractors were no longer allowed to do chipper work at night, but Pinson said he still moved out of the Elizabeth Square Apartments last year because of the construction and amount of traffic.

"Hopefully, they won't be doing it in the middle of the night this go around," Pinson said.

CATS said it plans to closely watch the contractor as it fixes the work to make sure there aren't any more issues.

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