Local News

Bridge over Durham Freeway to be replaced

Posted May 18, 2009

— A city contractor will next week begin the demolition and replacement of the old Alston Avenue pedestrian bridge over the Durham Freeway.

Beginning May 26, S.T. Wooten Corp., will close part of the freeway, also known as N.C. Highway 147, from 11 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. each night for about two weeks. Traffic will be rerouted onto Briggs and Alston avenues while crews finish the bridge demolition.

After the new bridge span is delivered, crews will again close N.C. 147 during the same overnight hours and will use the same detour routes while the bridge is set into place. No dates for those closures have been set.

The state Department of Transportation is paying for 80 percent of the $2.2 million project, with the city picking up the rest of the cost.

The old pedestrian bridge has been closed since 1995 because of its age and poor visibility.

Katie Kalb, director of the city’s Department of Public Works, said the bridge replacement would link residential and commercial areas divided by N.C. 147 and would link those areas to the future Alston Avenue Triangle Transit Rail Station and a future trail system.

"It’s taken six years to get to this point, but we know this project is important to our citizens and to the future economic prosperity of these neighborhoods – and frankly, the community as a whole,” Kalb said in a statement.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • DuchessJules22 May 18, 2009

    Why not demolish it and be done with it?

  • thefensk May 18, 2009

    oops, hit "submit" too early. That should say "closing the pedestrian bridge over the Durham freeway had something to do with crime."

    Always remember my first trip to Durham in the 1980s when I travel the Durham Freeway. The map said "East-West Freeway" but the signs said 147 N and 147 S ... confused the heck out of me.

  • thefensk May 18, 2009

    I may be thinking of the wrong bridge, but I thought the pedestrian bridge over the Durham Freeway had something to do with crime. Been a while, so maybe I'm remembering wrong.

  • BeenHereSince67 May 18, 2009

    To treet007 et al:

    What? You're asking posters on the GOLO site to use facts and figures, and not hate and bile when they post here?! Good luck! This board is filled with folks so unhappy with their pitiful lives that they couldn't possibly get by without attacking someone each and every day because they have different opinions.

    Pedestrian bridges are far safer for folks who are walking than using vehicular traffic bridges with "walkways" on them. A few of the frequent posters on this site could be texting their latest and greatest 'put-down' while driving over the bridge, and swerve and hit someone - course they'd try to question what right the pedestrian had to be on the bridge in the first place.

    Drug deals or muggings on the new pedestrian bridge? I'll bet you that there'll be a camera operating 24/7 on that new bridge when it opens. Oh wait - I guess that costs taxpayer's money and/or violates somebody's rights, or, well, something else for the whiners to go about ...

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT May 18, 2009

    Quite simply, if crime was more inherent on one side of the Expressway, it will now even out on both sides. This bridge will do more to spread crime than it will benefit the community.

  • Jack Flash May 18, 2009

    When I read that part of the reason for its closing was because of poor visibility, I figured the new one would eliminate that, which could make it a less attractive site for drug deals.

    To object on the basis that the people using it would be the "smallest taxpayers" sounds really spiteful, as if wealthy people are more worthy of service.

    I don't think now is the time to be replacing a bridge that hasn't been used in 14 years. Not in this economy. But that has nothing to do with who will be using it, where anyone else thinks a bridge should be replaced instead, or whether anyone has complained about it (how do you even know, affirmdiv?).

  • m0nky May 18, 2009

    there are requirements on how the money the DOT has must be spent. If i'm not mistaken, pedestrian needs is one of the areas where a certain amount of money must be spent or the DOT loses some of its Federal funding. $2.2million really isn't an exorbitant amount for a bridge. especially one that crosses a busy highway. $2.2 million doesn't just include the building costs. it also includes impact analysis, design, and probably most importantly, the removal of the existing structure.

    $2.2million over 6 years isn't a bad project cost.

  • jse830fcnawa030klgmvnnaw+ May 18, 2009

    affirmativediversity, you really need to learn to debate without attacking someone. If you have facts, not just opinions, that contradict what the article states or support your opinions, then state it.

    I checked the map of the area where the bridge is located, and it appears to be very populated and the bridge would help both sides. NC Central University and Durham Technical are near-by. My question is on viability: if you view both sides of the bridge, they are strictly residential housing. I would like to know if there were any citizen petitions, requests, or study done in terms of expected people traffic. What happens to these residents near the bridge once replaced and the people traffic occurs?

    Announcement: http://www.durhamnc.gov/news/NewsDisplay.cfm?vNewsID=1799

    Images and Specs: http://www.durhamnc.gov/departments/works/project_nc147_bike_ped_bridge.cfm

    Google Map: http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=lakeland%20street%20durham%20nc%20147&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&t

  • FarmerDoug May 18, 2009

    Cry me a river, Durham. I travel over a bridge everyday in Garner that is in the Top10 in the state for replacement (60 years old!) that is crumbling over US70. Their pedestrian bridge is 50yds from a vehicular bridge with a raised curb to walk on...to expedite drug trafficking, I mean, economic development.

  • affirmativediversity May 18, 2009


    So your argument (for lack of a better term) is: because there has been no tangible outcry for a replacement in 14 years it must be needed so therefore people will use it?

    Isn't that the theme of a Kevin Costner movie?