Over the last three years Interstate 85 has been transformed from an obsolete stretch of highway with dangerous bridges over the Yadkin River to a modern eight lane highway. As of Late July 2013 the new bridges have been built and opened to traffic. From the Long’s Ferry exit in Rowan County to the Highway 150 exit in Davidson four lanes in each direction has been finished and opened to traffic. The northern section of the project is well underway and should be completed ahead of schedule. Back to the Yadkin River the new 29-70 bridge is progressing well with the new bridge reaching the halfway point of the river. Soon the old Wilcox Bridge in use now will become a bicycle and walking bridge.
There has been challenges, many that had to be addressed before construction could occur. There was numerous surveys, right of way acquisitions, engineering and design work, environmental studies, historical conservation concerns. There were many “starts and stops”. There was funding in place one year that got pulled and moved to another project. Finally when Beverly Purdue became Governor the I-85 project became one of her priorities. One of the acquisition engineers for the state said that one day his supervisor came into his office carrying a large set of blueprints and told him to clear his desk. He laid down the plans for the new I-85 project and told him to build it, per order of the Governor. That began the project and it never slowed down.
Below are a group of pictures showing many aspects of the project.