More problems found on Tobacco Trail bridge over I-40

Just when city engineers thought they fixed one problem, a special meeting uncovered a new safety concern.
November 26, 2013 3:32:17 PM PST
The American Tobacco Trail pedestrian bridge over Interstate 40 in southern Durham County is way behind schedule and way over budget.

Just when city engineers thought they fixed one problem, a special meeting Tuesday uncovered a new safety concern. The ABC11 I-team reports that meeting was an inspection of sorts on the unfinished bridge. It turns out that the rain revealed more than everyone bargained for.

"We're still hoping, by the end of December, we can get the bridge open," said Marvin Williams with Durham Public Works.

However, the rain would soon wash up yet another cause for concern.

"We were able to see how the water was draining from the bridge deck, and that opened our eyes to a few other issues we weren't quite sure of," said Williams.

These are new issues that now have to be repaired at a high price.

"It depends on what solutions the contractor identifies and what the NCDOT will accept as far as a repair for that issue," said Williams.

It comes just as the city, the contractor and design firm are working out a cost-effective solution to the bridge's safety fencing and rails that the I-Team first told you about last month. There's still some wrangling over exactly who'll pay for it. The repairs are estimated between $200,000 and $300,000.

"The cost is still an issue between the contractor, the designer and the survey firm, but there's no cost to the city," said Williams.

The city says the final price tag for this entire project should be about $11 million, which is a long way from the original estimate of $7.5 million.

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