Repairs to Wil-Cox bridge progressing

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 12, 2011

Crews working to repair the historic Wil-Cox Bridge over the Yadkin River in Davidson and Rowan counties have finished chipping away the old, deteriorating concrete from the bridge. They are now filling those bare spots with new concrete using a special construction technique called shotcrete.
With this method, workers spray the concrete onto the 89-year-old bridge through a hose. As the name suggests, compressed air generates the force needed to shoot the concrete out of the nozzle.
“Shotcrete is an essential part of our work to strengthen the Wil-Cox Bridge and make it safe for many years to come,” said Pat Ivey, N.C. Department of Transportation Division 9 engineer.
“This technique provides easy access to hard-to-reach areas and allows the new concrete to bond well on the underside of the bridge.”
Crews are working on the Rowan County side of the bridge, which used to carry U.S. 29/70 southbound traffic, and will work their way across the river over the next seven weeks. Work is expected to be complete by July.
At that time, the Wil-Cox Bridge will be ready to carry all U.S. 29/70 traffic across the river while crews replace the northbound U.S. 29/70 bridge. These are both elements of the $201.5 million I-85 Corridor Improvement Project, which will replace a total of eight bridges, reconstruct the interchange at Belmont Road, and widen 6.1 miles of I-85 in Davidson and Rowan counties.
Once the project is complete, NCDOT will then turn ownership of the Wil-Cox Bridge over to Davidson County for use as a pedestrian bridge.