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Why did they build a ‘bridge to nowhere’ on Cornelius Harnett Drive? What did it cost?

Ken Little
Old bridge

N.C. DOT is spending $3.3 million to replace the old Wilmington Overhead Bridge over railroad tracks on Cornelius Harnett Drive in Wilmington. (StarNews file photo)

The new bridge on Cornelius Harnett Drive is being built due to the deteriorated condition of the existing bridge, according to N.C. Department of Transportation spokeswoman Tammy Stewart.

“The existing bridge had a sufficiency rating of 2 out of 100 when this bridge was programmed for replacement. Although it is not utilized as much as it was prior to the construction of the Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, it does still serve locations on the far side of the railroad corridor,” Stewart said.

Because of MLK parkway construction, “These locations are now on a dead-end section and this bridge provides their only point of access. It is still a part of the state-maintained system and was prioritized for replacement based on its condition,” Stewart said.

The project contract cost is $3.3 million. The new bridge was scheduled to be completed in late spring 2011, Stewart said.

However, according to Kerry Cross, N.C. Department of Transportation resident engineer, the contractor hired a subcontractor to work on the project and the subcontractor went out of business before the bridge was complete.

The contractor had to hire a new subcontractor, which delayed work on the bridge, Cross said.

The new bridge should be open in mid-October 2011, Cross said.

He added that the only remaining item on the contract is demolishing the old bridge.

The contractor is B&K Coastal LLC, doing business as Cape Fear Paving Co., according to a NCDOT website where readers can access information about the project and other NCDOT construction projects: www.ncdot.org/projects/

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2 Responses to “ Why did they build a ‘bridge to nowhere’ on Cornelius Harnett Drive? What did it cost?”

  1. On March 16, 2011 at 8:27 am Jay wrote:

    NCDOT and the Star News are missing the point of this question. A simple right-in right-out driveway on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway could have provided access to the small number of parcels without blowing money on an expensive bridge (similar to Kornegay Avenue). This bridge is solely the result of the inflexibility of NCDOT policies and engineers. They will tell you that the parkway is “controlled access” and driveways aren’t allowed. I would bet you $100 that, when asked, any member of the public would have supported the much cheaper driveway over the bridge to nowhere.

  2. On July 25, 2011 at 12:45 pm aaron wrote:

    I agree with NCDOT that the Smith Creek Parkway should remain “Controlled Access” for safety. However, a grade crossing over the train tracks would have been a much cheaper and safer option. It doesn’t matter what $100 and the public’s opinion is, though. These are the same people that will pull out in front of me driving a tractor-trailer and then stop to turn left! You want these people making traffic decisions for us?

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