DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - The groundbreaking was held last July, and on Saturday, the new park at the Wil-Cox bridge was officially opened.
It’s the bridge that spans the Yadkin River between Rowan and Davidson Counties, and while it no longer carries cars, it is now open to pedestrians and bicycles.
In 2013 the bridge was given to Davidson County, along with the $2 ½ million it would have cost the state to tear it down. Narrow, with some structural damage, it was not needed for traffic once the new I-85 Yadkin River bridge opened.
That led to the thought of saving it and finding a use.
"It's going to be a bike and pedestrian cross bridge, shade structures on the bridge with shade…steps coming off it, going down to the bottom to the Riverwalk," said Thomas Marshburn of Davidson County Parks & Recreation. "It's one of a kind. You've got a trail head, you've got history, you've got the river. Just half a mile down the way you got the lake, High Rock Lake."
The bridge will be the centerpiece of a major development along the Yadkin on the Davidson County side, and on the other side, the town of Spencer in Rowan County will also be part of it with a new greenway that connects it to the Carolina Thread Trail that stretches to Rock Hill, South Carolina.
DreamBuilt Construction, Inc. prepared the bridge for pedestrians, including installing lighting, adding landscaping and shade and placing benches. The bridge will be closed to cars and other vehicles.