Off and on for the past six years, Wendell residents of various stripes have bemoaned the fact that the N.C. Department of Transportation chose to close a bridge, choking off a potential passageway from this town’s largest development – Wendell Falls – into the rest of town.
DOT closed the bridge over Old Battle Bridge Road with no plans to replace the bridge and reopen it to traffic, effectively creating two dead-end roads that ended at Buffalo Creek.
Now, town commissioners have identified some state funds that could be used to pay a significant portion of the cost of a new bridge and that work has drawn the support of DOT, which seems willing to find the remainder.
It is far from a done deal; after all a resolution by a municipal board of commissioners carries no weight with state legislators if they don’t want to address the matter.
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But the prospects look good that motorists – and most importantly school buses and emergency vehicles – will soon be able to take a more direct route to accomplish their work.
Wendell commissioners, led by Commissioner Jason Joyner, have declined to let the bridge fall into the dustbin of history and they’ve worked to create at least a glimmer of hope that Old Battle Bridge Road could once again be made whole.