CONCORD, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – On Thursday, NCDOT crews finished up work on a historic pedestrian bridge that sits above Old Charlotte Road near the old Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center in Concord.
Though the state transportation agency does not own the bridge, a spokesperson said in September they received at least two reports of rocks and debris falling from the hundred-year-old bridge onto the state-maintained road below it.
They decided to step in to take temporary safety measures.
“There’s a lot of corrosion, a lot of rust, a lot of loose pieces. And they’re not just on the top side, but they’re on the underside of the bridge,” said NCDOT spokeswoman Jen Thompson.
Throughout the week, NCDOT workers removed the rusted arch signage that sat above the bridge as well as installed a wired meshing underneath the bridge to catch falling debris.
“This is not meant to be a permanent fix, but the future is still yet to be determined,” said Thompson.
Thompson says the North Carolina Department of Public Safety currently owns the bridge. They’ll need to be the ones to work with county leaders and the state’s historic preservation office to decide its future.
Some longtime Cabarrus County residents say they hope the stakeholders take the bridge’s historical designation into account.
“I’d like to see it stay the way it is. It has a lot of historical value,” said Concord resident Steve Wallace. “It just wouldn’t be the same if they bridge wasn’t there.”
Other neighbors say they can’t justify the risk of keeping the crumbling crossing.
“You’re talking about something 100 years old. That’s dangerous. Why should one life perish over something old? That’s not worth it,” said Joe Yarborough, who works near the bridge.
It’s a structure with a storied past, but a future yet to be written.