Durham celebrates new American Tobacco Trail bridge

Although the opening of the bridge across I-40 was pushed back to Dec., people still came out for the ribbon cutting ceremony.
October 13, 2013 5:25:13 AM PDT
Drizzle and overcast skies could not keep American Tobacco Trail fans away from the new stretch along the Streets at Southpoint Saturday.

Although the opening of the bridge across I-40 was pushed back to December due to flaws in a safety fence, people came out for the ribbon cutting ceremony anyway.

"We love it because it's a form of exercise. We were waiting for this day! My daughter was searching on the Internet," said trail fan Tina Travis.

City authorities celebrated the work performed so far with a ceremony and remarks from state and federal representatives as well as the mayor.

"Once that bridge is open, nobody's gonna think it opened late, cost 11 million dollars. They're gonna say hey, it's here, it's open, we're enjoying it. And that's what it's all about, "said Durham Mayor Bill Bell.  

"[The bridge is] a visionary entrepreneurial public service spirit, about the quality of life in this community and its implications for the rest of the Triangle," added longtime trail advocate Al Capehart.

Bull City boosters and leaders from City Hall are welcoming the positive attention after incidents that made headlines on the other side of the trail.

Random assaults on trail users led to installation of at least one surveillance camera on the trail with more on the way. Police presence on the trail has also increased and not just in the areas where crime has happened.

"I see police officers over here, so thank you for being here and for all you do, said NC Department of Transportation Secretary Tony Tata.

Trail fans hope the bridge will officially be opened by the holidays.

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