Another stretch of U.S. 158 in lower Currituck getting new pavement this spring

Grinding of the old road surface began on March 24, 2021 at the U.S. 158/N.C. 136 intersection. [Sam Walker photo]

Another stretch of U.S. 158 on the Currituck mainland is getting a fresh coat of asphalt as part of an overall resurfacing of the main connection between southeastern Virginia and the Outer Banks over the last several years.

Work began Wednesday along the section of Caratoke Highway between N.C. 136 near Poplar Branch and to Garrenton Road in the village of Jarvisburg as crews began removing the old road surface covering the outside eastbound lane.

The 5.9 mile section where work began Wednesday was part of the contract that repaved N.C. 168 from Barco to Currituck Courthouse, and will cost $1.1 million, according to NCDOT spokesperson Tim Hass.

After the road is milled and temporary paint is applied, which should be completed ahead of Easter weekend, an open graded friction course will be applied by Rose Brothers Paving starting the second week of April.

“The result is a decrease in hydroplaning and a noticeable reduction in the fine spray from other vehicles, increasing visibility,” Hass said. “Seasonal limitations prohibit a contractor from placing this material prior to the middle of April.”

A special mixture of asphalt was applied in 2012 due to traction problems after a previous repaving of U.S. 158 between the Wright Memorial Bridge and N.C. 168 intersection in Barco.

It is intended to allow water to move to an underlying layer of asphalt and then travel along the slope of the road to run off on the shoulders.

But within a year of the initial application, the gravel-like substance started rubbing off in multiple locations.

Repairs to the outside, westbound lane made in 2013 at the Buster Newbern Road intersection between Powells Point and Jarvisburg became surrounded by even longer and deeper ruts.

The entire five-lanes of U.S. 158 from Barco to near Poplar Branch was repaved in 2019 and the crumbling sections between Grandy and Point Harbor were also resurfaced. Last year, the intersection of U.S. 158 and N.C. 168 in Barco was resurfaced.

“Moving forward, and as we continue south, Barnhill Contracting was recently awarded the resurfacing contract for the final ten mile section of U.S. 158 (in lower Currituck), Hass said. “They should begin work this fall.”

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