Durham’s tearing down the controversial Apex Street bridge over the American Tobacco Trail, the (existing) pedestrian connection between the St. Theresa neighborhood and Forest Hills.
Beginning September 2, the City is tearing down the bridge, installing a new access ramp, and rerouting ATT traffic for three weeks.
A few years ago, nowhere else in Durham was the difference between which “side of the tracks” you’re on more visually distinct than along the former railroad corridor that divides the St. Theresa neighborhood from Forest Hills. The houses on the east side are no longer fronted with boarded up windows, and the image from the American Tobacco Trail is much improved. The Apex St. bridge, a crumbling bridge that was closed to vehicle traffic over safety, later became the centerpiece of a community debate over access to Forest Hills park. See a clip from Carol Thomson’s documentary project on the American Tobacco Trail, Bridging Rails to Trails (clip embedded below), for more about the story.
If you’re into that kind of thing, you can read Parsons Brinckerhoff’s structural evaluation of the bridge (pdf), indicating some of the reasons that it closed and needs to be renovated or torn down.
Beginning September 2, and lasting for a projected three weeks (so you know it will be longer than that), the City of Durham will be tearing down the Apex St bridge and installing a new ATT access ramp on the east side of the trail. The access ramp on the west side of the trail was installed in 2004 (right? someone else correct me on this).
Bike commuters, listen up — this portion of the American Tobacco Trail will be closed and rerouted by the City for those three weeks.
Durham Detours Portion of American Tobacco Trail for New Ramp Construction
Detour Begins September 2 and Will Last Approximately Three Weeks
Durham, N.C. – The City of Durham’s Department of Public Works is beginning the first step in a new trail connection from the Southside/St. Theresa neighborhood to the American Tobacco Trail.
A new ramp is to be constructed connecting the American Tobacco Trail to Apex Street. The demolition of the Apex Street Bridge is the second component of this project and will take place following completion of the ramp construction.
Due to this planned construction, a detour of the American Tobacco Trail is required between West Enterprise Street and Apex Street and will begin Tuesday, September 2, 2008. The detour will remain in place for approximately three weeks. According to the department, this detour is necessary for the relocation of an existing gas line associated with the Apex Street Bridge demolition.
Users of the American Tobacco Trail are asked to note that the trail will not be passable from West Enterprise Street north to Apex Street during this period and they will be required to use the detour. Signage providing directions to the detour will be posted on the trail.
This closure is the first of two scheduled closures of the American Tobacco Trail in this area. The second closure will be for the actual demolition of the Apex Street Bridge. Details regarding this second closure will be provided at a later date.
For additional information regarding this project, including a map of this scheduled detour, visit the City’s Web site at www.durhamnc.gov/departments/works/project_apex_bridge.cfm or contact Kyle Butler, civil engineer with the City’s Department of Public Works, at (919) 560-4326, extension 245 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
from Bridging Rails to Trails, Carol Thomson