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Three Bridge Replacement Projects Scheduled For Raleigh

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Three bridge replacement projects will soon be under way at the same time in downtown Raleigh.

Replacing the Hillsborough Street bridge in downtown Raleigh is a real mess. As construction carries on, some business owners said they are losing money.

"I'm upset with the whole situation because they could have done better," business owner Pota Vallas said. "You know they built the Empire State Building in 11 months and have this little bridge for a year and a half, I couldn't understand."

The Hillsborough Street bridge is not the only one on the Department of Transportation's list for renovations.

The DOT is also looking at renovations with the Glenwood Avenue Bridge at Wade Avenue. Several old trees in the area will have to go, and DOT officials said with the high-vehicle count, the bridge needs to be replaced right away. The state will award the bridge project in September. Lane closures and a temporary bridge will slow drivers for two years.

After that, another bridge renovation is planned for a heavily traveled spot. Work can start on the Wilimington Street bridge as soon as a temporary bridge plan is worked out, which also means two years of delays.

"You have a lot of pros and cons, so you are going to have some delays, you are going to have some detours and you are going to have some backups of that nature, but when it's all done, we hope not to be here again for a long period of time," DOT engineer Jon Nance said.

The Hillsborough Street bridge should be finished by August 2003. The Glenwood Avenue and Wilmington Street bridge projects will stretch into fall 2004.