State finds money to rebuild bridge
Over the last ten years, the amount of traffic crossing into Union County from Mecklenburg has dramatically increased, causing wear and tear on local bridges. The town of Fairview is especially concerned about the bridge crossing Goose Creek on Hwy 218 West, feeling that without repairs, it won’t be able to handle such volume.
The bridge was originally scheduled to be replaced in February of 2015. However, due to the amount of traffic the bridge is being faced with, the concern of community members, and letters to the North Carolina Department of Transportation from the mayor of Fairview and Union County commissioners, the date has been moved forward. The bridge is now scheduled to be replaced the summer of 2013. Exactly which month during the summer of 2013 that construction will begin has not yet been determined.
“We want the replacement process to go as smoothly as possible for everyone,” Garland Haywood, the Division Bridge Engineer for the NCDOT said. “(We) are taking the environment into great consideration for this project, because Goose Creek is a habitat for the Carolina heelsplitter.”
The replacement of this bridge is “very important to NCDOT”, Haywood said. The department is working hard, Haywood said, to ensure that the bridge is a success and an asset to the community once completed.
This bridge is in desperate need of major renovation, it is currently the only bridge along 218 West that still has a weight limit, Haywood said. After the construction is complete the bridge will no longer have weight restrictions, will be better equipped to handle large amounts of traffic, and will have a more modern appearance.
Haywood estimates bridge replacement will cost about $1.3 million and will be paid for through a mix of state and federal funding.
“Bridges should last a minimum of 60 to 70 years when built correctly,” Haywood said.