Wil-Cox Bridge

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"Wilcox Bridge" redirects here. For the battle, see Battle of Wyse Fork.
Wil-Cox Bridge
Carries Pedestrians
Crosses Yadkin River
Locale Rowan and Davidson Counties
Maintained by NCDOT
Material Concrete
Total length 1,298.9 feet (395.9 m)
Width 23 feet (7.0 m)
Construction begin 1922
Construction end 1924
Construction cost $212 thousand
Opened 1924
Replaces Piedmont Toll Bridge
Coordinates 35°43′22″N 80°23′30″W / 35.72276°N 80.39155°W / 35.72276; -80.39155Coordinates: 35°43′22″N 80°23′30″W / 35.72276°N 80.39155°W / 35.72276; -80.39155
References: [1][2]

The Wil-Cox Bridge is a historic concrete arch pedestrian bridge spanning the Yadkin River between Rowan and Davidson counties. The bridge formally carried two lanes of US 29/US 70/NC 150, but is now part of the Davidson County Greenway system.

It was completed in 1924 at a cost of $212,000, is almost 1300 feet (400 m) long,[3] is 20 feet (6 m) wide,[citation needed] and consists of seven open spandrel arch spans. The Wil-Cox Bridge, named for highway commissioners W.E. Wilkinson of Charlotte and Elwood Cox of High Point, is one of only six of its type left in the state.[3] A steel girder bridge built in 1951 as a companion to the Wil-Cox Bridge carried the northbound U.S. 29 lanes and eastbound U.S. 70 lanes[citation needed] but was closed in 2012.[4] A pair of bridges on neighboring Interstate 85 went up in 1957[5] and were replaced by a new pair of bridges in 2012.[6]

As of 2001, the city of Salisbury wanted to see the Wil-Cox bridge preserved.[7] When the 1951 U.S. 29-70 bridge is replaced, this bridge will no longer be used for traffic. Until early 2009, the state was planning to demolish the bridge, but preservationists wanted it saved as a pedestrian bridge,[8] "a regional historical artifact" to become part of a planned greenway system.[3] Davidson County decided to consider taking ownership and responsibility for maintenance, with the state giving the county the $2.5 million estimated cost of demolition. In March 2010, Davidson County voted to take the bridge, though one opponent pointed out that preserving the bridge would be more of a tourism advantage to Rowan County,[8] which did not want the bridge.[9] Tourist attractions in the area included Trading Ford and the former site of the Civil War fort Camp Yadkin.[10]

On April 8, 2010, the NCDOT closed the Wil-Cox Bridge due to safety concerns. Inspectors discovered the problems in December 2008, but the closure of the bridge was expected to take place in a few years once the replacement I-85 bridges were ready. Delays on the I-85 bridges meant these problems became serious enough to require repairs to keep the bridge in service.[11]

On July 21, 2010, Pat Ivey of the NCDOT said the bridge would be used as a detour during construction, so the state would spend $1.5 million on repairs.[10] The work was under way as of February 2011.[12]

By April 15, 2011, upgrading on the bridge was halfway to completion. A month later, workers were using a technique called "shotcrete", using a hose to spray concrete into those spaces where damaged concrete had been removed. By July the work was expected to be complete; the bridge would be needed as a detour.[13][14]

On September 1, 2011, work on Wil-Cox Bridge was complete, allowing the bridge to be used as a detour during replacement of the U.S. 29-70 bridge.[15] The U.S. 29-70 bridge built in 1951 closed April 17, 2012, with the new bridge scheduled to open by Fall 2013.[4] A portion of the temporary work bridge from the I-85 project is being used to build the new bridge.[16]

Only cars going south could use Wil-Cox Bridge until August, when changes were made to allow traffic to go both ways. One-way traffic had a negative effect on businesses in Spencer.[17]

Other bridges[edit]

The North Carolina Railroad Yadkin River Bridges were built in 1906 and 1919 and each contain four spans of Warren deck truss.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Uglybridges.com: US29 SBL over Yadkin River". Retrieved April 17, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Bridgehunter.com: Wil-Cox Bridge". Retrieved April 17, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "North Carolina US 29: The Piedmont's Highway - Wil-Cox Bridge". Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  4. ^ a b "Traffic detoured at U.S. 29 bridge". Salisbury Post. 2012-04-17. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  5. ^ Turner, Walter R. (2012-08-05). "The mysterious Yadkin River bridge". Salisbury Post. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  6. ^ "Central office saga top story of 2012". Salisbury Post. 2012-12-30. Retrieved 2012-12-31. 
  7. ^ Mark Wineka, "Road projects piling up for Salisbury area," Salisbury Post, 2001-09-28.
  8. ^ a b Smith, Heather J. (2010-03-10). "Commissioners vote 5-2 to take ownership of Wil-Cox Bridge". The Dispatch. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  9. ^ "Thank you, Davidson". Salisbury Post. 2010-03-12. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  10. ^ a b Minn, Karissa (2010-07-23). "State to pay for bridge repairs". Salisbury Post. Retrieved 2010-07-23. 
  11. ^ "Wilcox Bridge closed over safety concerns". Salisbury Post. 2010-04-09. Retrieved 2010-04-25. 
  12. ^ "Wil-Cox Bridge repairs under way". Salisbury Post. 2011-03-01. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  13. ^ "Repairs to Wil-Cox bridge progressing". Salisbury Post. 2011-04-15. Retrieved 2011-04-15. 
  14. ^ "Wil-Cox bridge repair advancing". Salisbury Post. 2011-05-12. Retrieved 2011-05-12. 
  15. ^ "Yadkin bridge project one year old". Salisbury Post. 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  16. ^ "Crews removing temporary bridge over Yadkin River today". Salisbury Post. 2012-10-17. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  17. ^ "Crews prep bridge for two-way traffic". Salisbury Post. 2012-08-01. Retrieved 2012-08-01. 

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