|Locale||Rowan and Davidson Counties|
|Total length||1,298.9 feet (395.9 m)|
|Width||23 feet (7.0 m)|
|Construction cost||$212 thousand|
|Replaces||Piedmont Toll Bridge|
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, is 20 feet (6 m) wide, 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. 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 but was closed in 2012. A pair of bridges on neighboring Interstate 85 went up in 1957 and were replaced by a new pair of bridges in 2012.
As of 2001, the city of Salisbury wanted to see the Wil-Cox bridge preserved. 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, "a regional historical artifact" to become part of a planned greenway system. 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, which did not want the bridge. Tourist attractions in the area included Trading Ford and the former site of the Civil War fort Camp Yadkin.
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.
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. The work was under way as of February 2011.
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.
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. The U.S. 29-70 bridge built in 1951 closed April 17, 2012, with the new bridge scheduled to open by Fall 2013. A portion of the temporary work bridge from the I-85 project is being used to build the new bridge.
The North Carolina Railroad Yadkin River Bridges were built in 1906 and 1919 and each contain four spans of Warren deck truss.
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