Two State Agencies 'On Track' For RTP Bridge Project
Posted September 30, 2002 10:54 a.m. EDT
DURHAM, N.C. — Highway 54 during the morning rush can be a big hassle for Research Triangle Park commuters and the old railroad bridge near the intersection with Miami Boulevard is not helping matters.
"It was built in 1927. It's only 32 feet wide, so it's a two-lane road. [It was] probably a farm road at the time. It's been that way ever since," said Scott Saylor, president of the
North Carolina Railroad Co
The North Carolina Railroad Co. said it is time for a change. Because of the strategic location of the bridge, right on the Durham/Wake County line and on a major access to the park, the railroad and the Department of Transportation agreed to split the cost and the work load to replace the bridge and widen the road underneath.
Officials say the partnership will speed up the work later.
"The DOT had 2008, 2009 on the horizon for it. With us doing the bridge first, it should allow that to speed up by four or five years," Saylor said.
Work will begin in about four months on a three-span railroad bridge. One span could accommodate the Triangle Transit Authority's planned commuter rail line. A five-lane road underneath the bridge is also in the works.
Officials say the new project will also help bikers, joggers and walkers. Wide-paved pathways will run along the side of the widened road and the new bridge."
Officials say the bridge will cost $7.5 million, and it will take 18 months to finish all the work.