Local News

Raleigh allocates money for fences on Beltline bridges

Posted January 19, 2010 11:54 a.m. EST
Updated January 19, 2010 5:29 p.m. EST

— The Raleigh City Council on Tuesday approved spending $61,000 to help pay for several fences along Interstate 440 Beltline bridges to prevent pedestrian deaths.

Carroll Lee Eames Jr., 33, of Willow Spring, stopped on the bridge between Glenwood Avenue and Six Forks Road on Nov. 27 to direct traffic after a collision and fell to his death when he jumped over a barrier between the eastbound and westbound lanes to avoid oncoming traffic.

Another man fell to his death in 2005 at the same bridge.

The state Department of Transportation plans to add a fence between the bridges at that location, at a cost of about $30,000. State officials said last month, however, that they found no inherent safety risk in the design of such bridges statewide and wouldn't spend money to install safety fences.

The DOT agreed to install fences on I-440 bridges on Yadkin Road and Raleigh Boulevard and the New Bern Avenue/U.S. Highway 64 bridge over the Beltline, provided the city pick up half the cost of the fences. Mayor Charles Meeker requested the money, and the City Council unanimously approved the proposal without discussion.

In other action, the council awarded a $1 million contract to Shelco Inc. to build an outdoor amphitheater downtown. The 5,000-seat amphitheater will be on city-owned land across McDowell Street from the new convention center.

The council reached a deal in November with concert promoter LiveNation to bring 15 to 20 concerts and other acts to the amphitheater each year for at least five years, and city officials said the venue could also be used for local festivals.

The council also voted unanimously to amend Raleigh's water-conservation rules so they match those in surrounding areas, including Durham, Cary, Apex, Morrisville and Chapel Hill.