Those who love Durham's outdoor offerings are about to have a new way to enjoy more of the American Tobacco Trail. The long-awaited installation of the pedestrian bridge over Interstate 40 will begin overnight this weekend and motorists are asked to take note of planned traffic detours.
On Sunday, April 28 between midnight and 7 a.m., the City of Durham’s contractor, Blythe Construction, Inc., will close Interstate 40 between N.C. Highway 751 and Fayetteville Road to set the new bridge in place on its foundations by crane. In the following weeks the City’s contractor will begin installing the bridge deck, fencing, lighting, and other elements. Four partially pre-assembled sections of the 270 foot long bridge arrived last week and are now being assembled on the northern shoulder of Interstate 40 in preparation for the April 28 set date.
Local traffic will exit Interstate 40 and return at the next exit using Renaissance Parkway heading east and N.C. Highway 54 heading west. Major through-traffic will be informed via message boards to use N.C. Highway 147 to avoid the local traffic detour.
The bridge is still on schedule for completion in July 2013, despite the recent foundation difficulties. The City’s contractor discovered that their surveyor made an error in the layout of the foundation, and four of the eight bridge piers were 2.5 feet too high. The resolution of the problem required a quick engineered solution by the City’s consultant engineering firm, Parsons Brinckerhoff. The correction used a shallow cut into to the concrete with a saw at the proper elevation and jackhammers to remove concrete above the cut, being careful not to disturb the steel rebar cage. All repairs have been completed and the cost of the repair was borne by the City’s contractor.
Once completed later this summer, this $9 million construction project will extend the American Tobacco Trail from its current end point on N.C. Highway 54 at Fayetteville Street to the Chatham County line. The length of trail to be constructed by this project is approximately 4.2 miles and includes the pedestrian bridge over Interstate 40. The pedestrian bridge is located just west of Fayetteville Street and the connection to the trail heading south will be located near the Streets at Southpoint Mall. Funding for the project is being provided from a variety of sources including federal funds from the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the City of Durham Sidewalk Bond fund.
To learn more about this project or to view conceptual images of the new bridge click here or contact Contract Management Supervisor Edward Venable, PE, with the City’s Public Works Department at (919) 560-4326, ext. 30233 or by email.
About the Public Works Department
The City of Durham Public Works Department provides a wide range of services, including street maintenance, engineering design, development review and stormwater quality and infrastructure maintenance. The department also oversees street resurfacing and sidewalk projects. The department plans and executes the City’s winter weather and natural disaster plans. Public Works serves as a steward of the City’s physical assets and ensures that residents live in a safe, secure, and thriving community. For more information, visit the department online.
For more information on trails and parks in Durham, visit this website.