Changes In Store As DOT Replaces Hillsborough Street Bridge
Posted November 27, 2001 11:06 a.m. EST
RALEIGH — Department of Transportation crews are getting ready to tear down a heavily-traveled bridge in downtown Raleigh. The 89-year-old bridge needs to be replaced, but some businesses say their needs have taken a back seat.
Crumbling concrete, exposed, rusted rebar and piles of debris mark the Hillsborough Street bridge over the railroad tracks between Glenwood Avenue and West Street.
Built in 1913, engineers say 25,000 cars pass over the aging bridge every day.
"We've got to replace this bridge. It's got to go, absolutely," said DOT resident engineer Steve Leonard.
Drivers who travel along Hillsborough Street between Glenwood Avenue, Edenton and West streets can expect lane closings. Work starts soon, but traffic probably will not be diverted onto Morgan Street until January.
Two businesses, Marsh Woodwinds and Innovations, will have to move. The DOT bought the building they are currently in and will demolish it.
Across the street at the corner of Hillsborough Street and Glenwood Avenue, National Art Interiors and Fine Furniture will stay.
The building is listed in the National Historic Register, so DOT engineers will have to take time-consuming and expensive steps to work around the building.
The owner of the store said that the problem is that the DOT is raising the bridge about a foot and a half to make way for increased train traffic, blocking off the main entrance to National Art Interiors.
"It's going to make it very hard. They tell me I cannot open my front door," said store owner Pota Vallis.
Many businesses will be impacted by the construction.
The DOT said that everyone who drives along Hillsborough Street will benefit from the bridge project.
The DOT expects the bridge to be finished by August 2003.