A significant traffic jam can now begin to clear following an almost comical incident this morning in the Bethlehem Community of Alexander County.
Shortly after 7am the Highway 127 bridge that spans Lake Hickory was reported to be on fire which initially brought some snickers and raised eyebrows considering the bridge is made of concrete and steel. Turns out there was something of a fire.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation says the rubber membrane which is located between a steel plate and the deck of the bridge was smoldering and emitting smoke. The bridge as a safety precaution was closed. The closure created a traffic back-up of a reported 5 miles for motorists heading South into Catawba County. Around 8:40 am the all clear was given and the bridge was re-opened. The bridge has been undergoing some significant repair of late designed to repair bridge joints Most of that work has been done at night by repair crews.