RALEIGH — The newest
bridge in Wake County opened this morning, at the site of what had been one of
the oldest structures in the county. The N.C. Department of Transportation
opened the new $3.3 million bridge over the Neuse River on Falls of Neuse Road near
the Falls Lake Dam in North Raleigh.
The new structure replaces a 73-year-old bridge that was one of the 10
oldest state-maintained bridges in the county. The old bridge was considered structurally
deficient and functionally obsolete. Its original design no longer met current
standards for lane width for the traffic volume it handled, and there were elements
of the bridge that had to be monitored to maintain its structural integrity.
The opening brings back what is a key connector route between North
Raleigh, the Wakefield community and Wake Forest. A detour had been place since
the old bridge closed in Dec. 2011; when construction of the new bridge began. The
project had been delayed for 11 months to allow the City of Raleigh to open a
nearby four-lane bridge over the Neuse River on New Falls of Neuse Road so that
bridge could be used as part of the detour route.
The two-lane bridge is expected to carry about 13,500 vehicles a day. It
includes a 10-foot multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists that will serve
as part of the Upper Neuse Greenway when it is extended to the north. The
bridge project also allowed the DOT to partner with the City of Raleigh to
extend the greenway under the new bridge to provide access to the parking lot
at the Falls Lake Dam.
*** NCDOT ***