By Nathan Ham
The North Carolina Department of Transportation officially completed the new bridge construction that started in April of 2020. The bridge opened to traffic last Thursday.
“The new road coming in here is very nice, especially since it is three lanes, that will really help us on busy days with traffic,” said Cathy Robbins, Owner/Operator of Tweetsie Railroad. “The bridge is really nice and we’re still getting used to it. I’m used to a straight road and now it curves.”
The original bridge was constructed in 1961 and will eventually be torn down according to Robbins.
Blythe Development of Charlotte was awarded the $2.6 million project in February of 2018 that combined replacing a bridge on N.C. 194 over Old Field Creek in Lansing in Ashe County and the bridge on Tweetsie Railroad Lane over Middle Fork of the South Fork New River with new culverts being installed.
According to the initial news release from the NCDOT, the new bridge project was constructed as a way of re-aligning Tweetsie Railroad Lane with Middle Fork Road and creating a four-way stop by shifting the lane north and placing the bridge across from Middle Fork Road. The project included stream realignment while they were constructing the new culvert. The project’s initial completion date was listed as August of 2020.
In addition to the bridge completion, Robbins said that part of the plan is to continue the Middle Fork Greenway through a tunnel in the area where the new bridge just opened as well as new landscaping that the NCDOT would be doing at some point.