Skip to main content

As decision on Yadkin River Bridge looms, status of Wil-Cox Bridge uncertain

Piggybacking on my earlier post on the Yadkin River Bridge, there is also information about the oldest standing of the Yadkin River Crossings.

The future ownership of the Wil-Cox Bridge, built in 1922, will be determined by the pending decision on TIGER Grant funds to replace the newer I-85 Yadkin River Bridge.

NCDOT has offered to sell the bridge to Davidson County for a sum of $2.5 million.  Davidson County would then convert the historic concrete arch bridge for use by pedestrians only.  After the bridge is converted for pedestrian use - any of the 2.5 million not spent will be returned to Davidson County for maintenance on the bridge.

However, there are concerns on how much the conversion will cost and how much Davidson County would annual spend on maintenance.  NCDOT has given a deadline of March 1st on their offer.  That was contingent on NCDOT being awarded the TIGER funds.  Funds that may not be awarded until February 17th.  Of course, if NCDOT doesn't receive any grant money, it is unclear when any construction of a new I-85 bridge would take place.

Story Link:
Commissioners mull Wil-Cox bridge decision ---The Dispatch

Commentary:

Personally, I would love to see this bridge kept standing, and preserved for pedestrian use.  The bridge is one of only a few open-spandrel concrete arch bridges standing in North Carolina.  In addition, why not make it part of the nearby North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer.  There are a lot of possibilities that could take place.

Fortunately, the new I-85 bridges would be built further downstream from the Wil-Cox bridge and that may help in building a linear park highlighting the crossing's history as part of a Native American trading path.

The issue is obviously whether or not NCDOT receives any grant money from the Feds.  If the state doesn't receive the maximum amount of $300 million that can be awarded, it will be interesting to see how the state finds the additional money for the I-85 Yadkin River Bridge replacement project.  Once that is decided, hopefully the State and Davidson County can come to an agreement to preserve this historic bridge.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The story on how the unbuilt US 40 Expressway in Brownsville took 40 years to complete.

For nearly four decades, the four lane US 40 just east of Brownsville came to an abrupt end - shown in the photo above - at Grindstone Road in Redstone Township.   In the late 1960s, what was then the Pennsylvania Division of Highways (PennDOH) extended a new four lane alignment of US 40 eastwards from Broadway Street slightly over one mile to Grindstone Road where an incomplete diamond interchange was built.  Earlier in the decade, PennDOH had built a four lane US 40 in Washington County into Brownsville complete with a new crossing over the Monongahela River known as the Lane Bane Bridge.  This new highway and bridge allowed US 40 to bypass the older Intercounty Bridge and downtown Brownsville. 

After this new highway opened, nothing would happen to it for nearly forty years.  US 40 traffic would use the ramps for this planned diamond interchange and then jog on Grindstone Road briefly before continuing towards Uniontown on the original National Road. 
What is unknown (at least to…

The story of the Boy Scout Ramps on Interstate 79 North in NW Pennsylvania

If you are traveling on Interstate 79 North of Pittsburgh, you may notice the remnants of a set of off and on ramps at mile 100 just north of Exit 99 (US 422).  There's a story behind these ramps.  Forty years ago, these ramps were built specifically for two Boy Scout Jamboree's that were held at Moraine State Park - 1973 and 1977.  The ramps purpose were to provide access to the north shore of Lake Arthur where the bulk of the festivities and campsite for the Jamboree were located.  (Lawrence County Memories has a great write up and map of the festivities on its site.)

Not long after the Jamboree ended the ramps were abandoned.  There are still remnants of the Boy Scout Ramps today.



Above: Sattelite view of the Boy Scout Jamboree Ramps. 
Below: A view of the ramps from I-79 South.



The google street view image above gives a view along West Park Road of where the set of ramps intersected the highway.  The ramps provided direct access to North Shore Drive (which is the right tur…

The few clues of the Northern Durham Parkway

Sometimes when you look through a box of maps for the first time in five years, you come across something you may have easily over looked.  Such was the case when I found a 2004 (so rather recent) map of Raleigh.  This map was made by the Dolph Map Company for WakeMed.  In the Northwestern corner of Wake County, there were two items to the map showing roads that are still not in existence 13 years later.

The road is the Northern Durham Parkway - this is a proposed 19 mile highway from US 501 north of Durham to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.  The first proposals for this highway date back to 1967 when Eno Drive-Gorman Road was listed on the Durham Area Thoroughfare Plan. (1)  Other proposals called the highway the Northwest and Northeast Durham Loop. (2)  The route would serve as a northern and eastern bypass of Durham almost serving as a near loop.  The route was fought vigorously for three decades by the Eno River Association citing concerns for the the Eno River, nearby n…