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Raleigh allocates money for fences on Beltline bridges

Posted January 19, 2010

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— The Raleigh City Council on Tuesday approved spending $61,000 to help pay for several fences along Interstate 440 Beltline bridges to prevent pedestrian deaths.

Carroll Lee Eames Jr., 33, of Willow Spring, stopped on the bridge between Glenwood Avenue and Six Forks Road on Nov. 27 to direct traffic after a collision and fell to his death when he jumped over a barrier between the eastbound and westbound lanes to avoid oncoming traffic.

Another man fell to his death in 2005 at the same bridge.

The state Department of Transportation plans to add a fence between the bridges at that location, at a cost of about $30,000. State officials said last month, however, that they found no inherent safety risk in the design of such bridges statewide and wouldn't spend money to install safety fences.

The DOT agreed to install fences on I-440 bridges on Yadkin Road and Raleigh Boulevard and the New Bern Avenue/U.S. Highway 64 bridge over the Beltline, provided the city pick up half the cost of the fences. Mayor Charles Meeker requested the money, and the City Council unanimously approved the proposal without discussion.

In other action, the council awarded a $1 million contract to Shelco Inc. to build an outdoor amphitheater downtown. The 5,000-seat amphitheater will be on city-owned land across McDowell Street from the new convention center.

The council reached a deal in November with concert promoter LiveNation to bring 15 to 20 concerts and other acts to the amphitheater each year for at least five years, and city officials said the venue could also be used for local festivals.

The council also voted unanimously to amend Raleigh's water-conservation rules so they match those in surrounding areas, including Durham, Cary, Apex, Morrisville and Chapel Hill.


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  • j25 Jan 21, 2010

    "If I see two lions fighting in a cage, I can have all the good Samaritan feelings I want to have to "save" them, but what will most likely happen if I step in the cage to "help" them?"

    Talk about going overboard,lol. You wouldn't step into a cage with 2 fighting lions because you know what would happen...It's not like this guy knew he was going to fall 70 feet to his death. I'm not saying he shouldn't have used better judgement, I just don't think someone should be looked down on for trying to be a good person and help someone.
    I don't think they should have to put up fences on all bridges of the Interstate...however, what is ridiculous to me is that a few years ago they put one up on 1 side and not the other. If you are going to put a fence up for safety reasons, why wouldn't it be done on both sides?

  • Bendal1 Jan 21, 2010

    Yes, all government agences conduct risk/value studies on these kinds of issues. First off, pedestrians aren't allowed on interstates; therefore, pedestrian protection facilities aren't needed on the roads. That's why you don't see sidewalks, pedestrian walks on bridges, fences, or anything else for them on an interstate. Police and emergency/maintenance personnel are taught what to do when they venture on an interstate, no one else does.

    DOT doesn't put guardrail all along the outside of the interstate for the same reason; the cost isn't worth the benefit. Same for sloping ends of driveway pipes, why some trees are close to the roadside, etc, etc.

    Want the state to cover the world in bubble wrap for you? That's what some here (and the Raleigh council) appear to want.

  • Bendal1 Jan 21, 2010

    Waste of money; there's no evidence that there is an epidemic of people jumping off of interstate bridges in Raleigh, or that these particular bridges are any more risky than any other bridge in the city. Why not put up bridges on the OUTSIDE of these bridges too, or for that matter, every single overpass bridge in Raleigh, both in the median and outside?

    This is stupid and a waste of taxpayer money; DOT was 100% correct in determining there was no need to spend money for interstate bridge pedestrian fences, so of course Raleigh spends our taxpayer money for the same thing.

  • findoutthefacts Jan 20, 2010

    "Let's hope you are never stuck in a situation where you need help but nobody comes to rescue you because they don't want to be negligent."j25

    Way to go overboard there! I don't believe anyone on the beltline that night was in need of rescue....and if they were, the properly trained authorities were nearby.

    If I see two lions fighting in a cage, I can have all the good Samaritan feelings I want to have to "save" them, but what will most likely happen if I step in the cage to "help" them?

  • chivegas Jan 19, 2010

    "I don't think many of the posters here fully understand that the people who jumped over the divider, were not doing so out of folly or sport, but to avoid being hit by oncoming traffic."

    First of all, last I checked, cars don't drive in the emergency lane (that they were in). Second of all, if they did drive in that lane, the fence would have prevented them from getting out of the way and caused them to get crushed by a car. FAIL

    The fence is a total waste of money. What next, we require labels on food that say "Chew before swallowing".

    I think we should take the money and start a PSA: "Use common sense. Don't jump over a wall into darkness"

  • Titus Pullo Jan 19, 2010

    Proof once more, politicians have more (of our) money, than they have brains (of their own).

  • Cragsdale Jan 19, 2010

    @Hadenough, I also don't really care about this particular story. 1) it doesn't affect me directly as I know noone involved in any case, and 2) I still find humor in the wording of the story, irregardless of the reason behind writing it.

    Is it sad that a life was lost because of someone trying to assist someone else? Yes, cudos to the person lending a hand and condolences for the death involved thereafter. But at a glance, it's still humorous that you'd need to write a multipage report about the need for fences to prevent someone from "Jumping off a bridge" and not expecting to get hurt in teh process. Here's a tip for anyone on this subject... If you jump off a BRIDGE, chances are really good that you're gonna either die or get very seriously injured in the process.

  • Cragsdale Jan 19, 2010

    sry, I was only being sarcastic about the story. I do however understand the desire to have safty mechanisms in place.

  • Prancy Jan 19, 2010

    I don't think many of the posters here fully understand that the people who jumped over the divider, were not doing so out of folly or sport, but to avoid being hit by oncoming traffic. It was quite reasonable to believe that if one jumpted over the divide, one would land securily on the other side of the barrier without harm. It was dark. There was no warning that the over side of the barrier was without a floor...that it was a huge dropoff below. It is inconceivable that their actions were negligent.

  • SME2 Jan 19, 2010

    Glad to see the City of Raleigh step up where the DOT failed. It's funny how they think the cost versus risk @ $61,000 isn't worth saving another life. Another quality DOT Engineer probably thought that one up.