McCoy Bridge Replacement
NCDOT Project # B-3868
Project Type: Bridge Replacement
Affected Counties: Macon
Estimated Cost: $3,960,000
The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s project to replace the McCoy Bridge over the Little Tennessee River in Macon County has been a highly debated topic among many residents – especially those in the Oak Grove community – for over 10 years.
Many years ago, the NCDOT engineers determined the bridge’s structural integrity was failing and wanted to replace the one-lane truss bridge with a wider, more modern structure.
However, residents wanted to keep their historic, “iconic” bridge and fought the idea bitterly. According to the Smokey Mountain News, “they fear a bigger, newer bridge will pave the way for more people and more traffic in their valley.”
But the NCDOT determined that something has to be done. Their 2007 inspection reported a sufficiency rating of 19.9 out of 100.
In 2011, a compromise was reached. While Macon County residents did not get the rehabilitation of the old bridge that they’d hoped for, the NCDOT did agree not to tear down the old structure, so long as the county will assume ownership of it, and build a new bridge downstream instead, separate from the current McCoy Bridge.
Further, before turning over ownership, under the current plans the NCDOT will help convert the McCoy truss bridge into a pedestrian/bicycle bridge, and then contribute the $126,000 they would have spent to tear down the old structure, to the county for maintenance costs.
- The Macon County News: “Commissioners fight to preserve McCoy Bridge“
- Smoky Mountain News: “Battle to save historic truss bridge likely to end in compromise“
- Smoky Mountain News: “McCoy bridge compromise muddies debate“
- Smoky Mountain News: “Recession makes McCoy Bridge rehab an even better idea“
- NCDOT’s Categorical Exclusion
- Right-of-way acquisition slated to begin in January, 2014
- Construction slated to begin in February, 2016
The NCDOT has currently set aside $410,000 for property takings.
If your property will be affected, contact one of our attorneys for a free case evaluation.