Crews To Work On Bridge Project At Glenwood Avenue
Posted January 6, 2003 11:49 a.m. EST
RALEIGH, N.C. — A compromise on a Raleigh road construction project will save trees, but drivers will still get stuck with traffic delays.
It all centers around the bridge replacement at Glenwood and Wade avenues in Raleigh that begins Monday.
When the Glenwood Avenue bridge at Wade Avenue was built in 1954, it was a state-of-the-art, high-capacity bridge in an urban setting. After nearly 50 years of wear and tear, the Department of Transportation said it is time for a new bridge.
Despite the protests of environmentalists, a couple of stately oaks will have to go to make way for the bridge replacement. A lot of trees would have gone in the original design, but a save was engineered by the Raleigh Appearance Commission.
"When we first saw the plan about the way the bridge was going to look, the concept was going to be a highway overpass plopped down in the middle of the city of Raleigh, and people who saw the plan were actually very unhappy about it -- hopping mad, in fact," said Charlie Madison, Raleigh Appearance Commission chairman.
Over two months of discussion, the commission and the DOT worked out a compromise.
"I think everybody kind of came to the middle a little bit, that yes, the bridge needed to be replaced, but we could also get a better looking bridge and have less impact when it comes to the landscaping. So we're happy," Madison said.
Work starts Monday at Glenwood and Wade avenues. Officials said motorists can expect lane closures, orange barrels, and delays. The project is expected to take 1.5 years.
The DOT will hold a construction information meeting for people affected by the bridge replacement project. The two-hour meeting is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the auditorium of the Transportation Building on South Wilmington Street, located across from the state Capitol.
The Hillsborough Street bridge project has reached a transition point but is still far from finished.
DOT crews demolished the old bridge near the state Capitol and are now building the new bridge span. The bridge replacement is slated to be complete in August.
Work is also underway on the Wilmington Street Bridge on the south side of Raleigh. Crews have squeezed five lanes down to two. Engineers said they will demolish and rebuild half of the bridge then move to the other side. The project is expected to be finished by April 2004.