Another setback for Tobacco Trail bridge

An artist's rendering of what the final Tobacco Trail bridge over I-40 would look like (Image courtesy City of Durham)

August 3, 2011 8:56:06 AM PDT
Cyclists, runners, and hikers who dream of one day using the American Tobacco Trail to get all the way from downtown Durham to Apex/New Hill will apparently have to wait a little longer.

The City of Durham announced last month that it was putting the long-awaited last section - a pedestrian bridge over Interstate 40 - out to bid. But now, it says the bids came in higher than expected and funding for the project is $2 million short.

"There is insufficient funding to complete this project and options are being considered," said a statement on the city's website.

The city said its consultant engineer's initial estimate for the project was $5,648,000. The last segment of the Tobacco Trial would run approximately 4.2 miles from NC 54 in Durham to the Chatham County line.

Click here for more information about the Tobacco Trail on the Wake County website.

If the entire project is ever completed, it will stretch 23 miles from southern Wake County all the way to downtown Durham. Chatham County completed its section in late 2009 with a multi-use trail that's half paved and half gravel for horses, bikers, and pedestrians.

While Durham was first to complete a section of the trail in the late 1990s, with the stretch that runs from downtown all the way to NC54 and Fayetteville Road, completion of its last section has been mired in delays for years.

The final design for the bridge was unveiled in 2009, but two years later, construction has yet to begin.

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