DURHAM, N.C. – The long-awaited American Tobacco Trail Bridge over Interstate 40 is now open and trail lovers and bicyclists are invited to come and take a stroll over this unique structure – only the second of its kind in the United States.
The new 270-foot-long pedestrian bridge is located just west of Fayetteville Road and the connection to the trail heading south is located in the parking lot near Southpoint Cinemas at The Streets at Southpoint. The design is an arch supported stress-ribbon bridge and is currently only the second bicycle/pedestrian bridge of this type in the United States.
Overseen by the City of Durham’s Public Works Department, construction on the bridge began in 2012, and was set to be completed in the summer of 2013. However, due to a number of factors ranging from the wet summer weather to issues with the safety fencing, completion was delayed for eight months. While the bridge portion of the project was delayed, approximately 4.2 miles of new trail opened to the public in October 2013, and the overall project is within its $11 million budget.
With the bridge now completed, the American Tobacco Trail now extends from N.C. Highway 54 at Fayetteville Road to the Chatham County line and beyond, completing a missing link in the East Coast Greenway, which links communities from Florida to Maine.
Architect and Engineer Steven Grover provided the concept of the stress-ribbon bridge to the City’s consultant on the project, Parsons Brinckerhoff, which completed the structural design. The construction of the bridge and trail was done by Blythe Construction, Inc. To learn more, visit http://durhamnc.gov/ich/op/pwd/consproj/Pages/SW-24-ATT.aspx.