NCDOT Dedicates Yadkin River Veterans Memorial Bridge, Celebrates Completion of I-85 Corridor Improvement Project in Davidson and Rowan Counties Friday, November 08, 2013

RALEIGH — The Veterans Honor Guard of Davidson County joined Transportation Secretary Tony Tata, U.S. Rep. Mel Watt, Board of Transportation member Jake Alexander, and other state and local elected leaders today to celebrate the completion of the I-85 Corridor Improvement Project and dedicate the new Yadkin River Veterans Memorial Bridge.                    

“I can’t think of a more fitting way to recognize those whom have given so much on behalf of our nation than to name such a significant bridge in their honor,” Tata said. “It is a critical link that connects this region, our state and the east coast to opportunities and plays a central role in supporting and generating new jobs and economic growth for North Carolina.”

The Davidson County and Rowan County chapters of the American Legion requested the bridge naming, and former Rep. Fred Steen ushered the request through the legislative process. The name of the Yadkin River Veterans Memorial Bridge was signed into law on June 20, 2012.

Intended to ease congestion, improve safety and make travel and movement of commerce more efficient on the most heavily traveled route between Atlanta and Richmond, Va., the I-85 Corridor Improvement Project had long been considered the state’s top mobility priority.

Work on the $201.5 million project began Sept. 29, 2010 and involved widening 7.1 miles of I-85 from north of Long Ferry Road in Rowan County to just north of I-85 Business in Davidson County. Flatiron-Lane and Balfour Beatty/Austin Bridge and Road were the prime contractors on the project, which was completed in two phases and included the following elements:

  • Widening this section of I-85 from four to eight lanes;
  • Replacing 8 bridges, including the I-85 and U.S. 29/70 North bridges over the Yadkin River;
  • Reconstructing the interchanges of I-85 with N.C. 150 (Exit 84) and Belmont Road (Exit 86);
  • Removing the I-85 interchange at Clark Road;
  • Eliminating the sharp curve just before the I-85 bridge over the Yadkin River to allow motorists to better see congestion or accidents ahead;
  • Replacing parallel bridges that cross over the North Carolina Railroad tracks located north of the Yadkin river and the Duke Power Industrial Rail Spur located south of the river;
  • Installing Intelligent Transportation Systems, such as traffic cameras and message boards;
  • Constructing noise walls; and
  • Repairing the historic Wil-Cox bridge for use by Davidson County as a pedestrian bridge.

For more information on the project, visit

(Editor’s note: Photos from today’s event will be posted to the NCDOT Flickr page. Video will be accessible on the department’s YouTube page.)


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