Wake County Bridge In Need Of Face-Lift

Posted February 11, 2005

— AAA of the Carolinas said the Neuse River Bridge near Falls Dam is not in bad enough shape to rank among the state's

20 worst bridges

. Many people said they think the deteriorating 67-year-old bridge should be at the top of the list.

Faye Van Putte said she has lived a block away from the Neuse River Bridge at Falls Dam for a long time. She thinks something needs to be done to the bridge that was built in 1938.

"I think it's going to fall in," she said.

State Department of Transportation crews are repairing the bridge, but those repairs are supposed to last six years.

"It won't last six more years. They have patched it and patched it," Van Putte said.

The DOT's bridge maintenance supervisor said drivers have nothing to worry about.

"If this bridge was in that kind of shape that it was going to fall, we'd have closed it off. There wouldn't be traffic going across it," said DOT engineer Clyde Woodby. "That's just the way we work it. It's going to be safe."

"It's awful. It was fine during the days of tractors, but no more tractors out here. It's time for the new one," motorist Bob Lindall said.

The city of Raleigh, the state and Wakefield Development are pooling resources to build a new $18 million bridge south of the old one.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker believes construction of the new bridge could start in about a year. The state Department of Transportation said there is no guarantee because all new construction is under review due to a funding cutback.


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