On October 2nd Durham announced that recent inspections of the bridge had discovered problems with the safety fencing which must be addressed before the bridge can be opened for public use. According to Marvin Williams, director of the City’s Public Works Department: An issue with the pedestrian safety fencing was discovered during a recent inspection of the posts that are a part of the fencing. The fabricated angle of the fence posts, constructed by an out-of-state contractor, as well as the condition of the factory-installed paint was unsatisfactory. The repairs could cost anywhere from $200,000 to $300,000, but will not be incurred by the City. “This is an important safety issue, and we can’t open this bridge until corrections are made by the contractor. At this point, we anticipate opening the bridge in December 2013,” Williams said. “We realize that limiting access to the bridge at this time is unfortunate and will be an inconvenience to all users. However, the ability to protect pedestrians as well as properly maintain this bridge for all current and future users is also important, and we ask for patience and understanding as we make sure this gets done correctly.” The new estimate for completion of the bridge is mid-December.
The October 12th Opening Event will still be held from 9-11 am at the SouthPoint parking lot just north of Renaissance Parkway (see Map at http://www.triangletrails.org/pdfs/SetUpMap.pdf ) but there will not be any access to the bridge by the public.