Bridge closure frustrates Fayetteville residents in Hollywood Heights community

FAYETTEVILLE, NC (WTVD) -- Hollywood Heights residents are demanding answers after the bridge on Louise Street in west Fayetteville abruptly closed. Many of them have cited inconvenience as their main frustration.

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Demetris Williams has spent all 54 years of her life in Hollywood Heights. She referred to it as a community where everyone knows everyone and other community affairs.

She said she was in utter disbelief one night as firefighters put up barricades on the Louise Street Bridge.

"It's just been horrible," Williams said. "They blocked us and told us we couldn't come in. We'd have to go around to Cliffdale Road."

Another resident, Ashley McLean, recalled that day, too.

"One day I drove across the bridge to go to work at Popeye's and when I got off, it was closed," she said. "I've got to go all the way around to get to work. The Cliffdale traffic is horrible so it takes so much time, and I haven't even seen anybody working on it."

Hollywood Heights is in city councilmen Larry Wright's district. Hurricane Matthew blew through Fayetteville nearly two years ago, destroying parts of the bridge and the houses around it.

Wright told ABC11 that a city inspection this year deemed the bridge a safety hazard.

"The erosion worsened. Some of the pillars had buckled because the pillars were made out of wood," Wright said. "It had eroded to the point where the inspector thought it was unsafe."

According to the city, the road closed January 19. Wright told ABC11 that there is no clear timeline on how soon it could reopen, but it could take up to two years.

"My plea to the residents is to just be patient," Wright said.
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