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

Kancamagus Highway (NH 112 through the White Mountains of New Hampshire)

The Kancamagus Highway is a portion of NH 112 spanning from Conway to Lincoln through the scenic White Mountains of New Hampshire. Locally known as the "Kanc", the 34.5-mile drive is a recognized National Scenic Byway, offering travelers an abundance of history and spectacular beauty in addition to being considered one of the best fall foliage viewing areas in the world. The road opened up one of the last unconquered wilderness areas in New Hampshire, a region that the 1850 state Gazetteer called "unfit for human habitation." The two lane highway links the valleys of the Merrimack, Pemigewasset and Saco rivers, crossing over Kancamagus Pass at 2,855 feet in elevation, winding through some of the most difficult and gorgeous terrain in the state. A number of scenic vistas are found along the way offering remarkable views of the surrounding White Mountains, Swift River, Lower Falls and Rocky Gorge. You will not find services through much of the drive, until you get to

Ghost Town Tuesday; Transylvania, Louisiana

Back in 2014 I found myself returning home to Florida from Hot Springs National Park.  While passing through East Carroll Parish in Louisiana on US Route 65 I noticed an abandoned school on the side of the highway in a community called Transylvania. Supposedly Transylvania was founded in the early 19th century and was named after the University of the same name in Kentucky.  Supposedly Transylvania has about 700 residents according to the 2000 Census but you wouldn't know it from the total lack of occupied structures.  The earliest map reference I can find showing Transylvania present in East Carroll Parish is from 1878. 1878 Louisiana State Map I really can't find too much substantive information regarding the Transylvania Elementary School but the construction is likely Pre-World War II.  Supposedly the Transylvania Elementary School was abandoned in the late 20th Century and was open to vandals until the property was purchased in 2014. Article Regarding the Transy

I-93 Sign Replacement Project Update

Decided to beat the Memorial Day rush and traveled up I-93 north of Boston Wednesday afternoon to check out the progress of the two sign replacement projects. Based on webcam images, I new some signs had been replaced at the southern and northern end of the Somerville to Exit 38 segment. Turns out signage has been updated northbound for Exit 28 (MA 28/38), the first sign for Exit 31 (MA 16) (I guess taking advantage of MassDOT closing I-93 between Exits 20 and 28 for Big Dig Tunnel maintenance a couple nights a month) and for Exits 34 to 38. A photographic summary starts with the first re-signed exit: This is the second overhead assembly. The signs are mounted on the previously existing overhead supports that go back to the opening of the lower and upper deck portions of I-93 in the early 1970's. I don't know about using the left hand side simply for an auxiliary sign for the exit, but there isn't much room to place it elsewhere. The next interchange that  has had