by Grace Hatton, Reverb Editor
The bridge that connects the two sides of campus is a major feature of the Wilson campus and over summer the convenience of crossing the bridge won’t be available to the campus community. The bridge will be closed due to large-scale repairs that must take place. Some of the steel beams of the bridge have rusted over the years, and need to be replaced. In addition, the wooden deck of the bridge will be taken out and replaced with a concrete deck.
According to the Campus Architect Steve Farrell, the rusting of the bridge’s beams was unanticipated.
“A chemical reaction from the copper in the wood decking [is] leaching onto the steel,” Farrell said. “About the time the bridge was being built the formula for pressure treated wood was changing and copper replaced arsenic.”
The construction and improvements performed on the bridge will at times cause Warren Wilson Road to be temporarily closed, and the community will not be able to use the bridge. However, the plan is to keep these closures to a minimum and to have them occur during the evening. The bridge is being worked on by a subsidiary of Murphy and Taylor Construction. The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Bridge Division is in charge of selecting the engineers and administering the contract. The work on the bridge is estimated to take just over a month, weather permitting.
After the renovations are completed the hope is that the bridge will not need any more work or repairs for many years to come.