CRAMERTON, N.C. -- A new bridge on a vital link to Cramerton was supposed to be finished by now, but will not be completed until at least late spring of next year.

The old Lakewood Road Bridge was torn down last October because of structural problems.

Work on a new span started, and just as quickly, ran into problems that have now delayed completion until next year.

A main reason for the delays is the rain and flooding that swamped some of the heavy equipment.

And that was just the beginning, said Jennifer Thompson, spokesperson for the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

We've had a lot of problems. Not just weather related, but with equipment and with finding things in the ground that we didn't anticipate, she said.

Trying to sink a foundation for the new bridge, a heavy drill was broken and it took some three months to fix.

Lakewood Road is one of three ways to drive in and out of Cramerton, and with the bridge closed, drivers are forced to take a 3-mile detour that can add 15 to 20 minutes to travel time, depending on driving conditions.

It is bad for people who have to go across there. It s just bad, said Colleen Ervin, who has lived in Cramerton for years.

She and other residents say there is just no easy way to get around with the bridge still unopened.

Thompson says the department understands the frustration and is working as safely and quickly as possible.

She said the hope is now for the new bridge to be completed and opened once again to traffic by June at the latest.

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