Raleigh, NC -- The new Yadkin River bridge on I-85 South near Salisbury is scheduled to open Friday night.
NC DOT Secretary Tony Tata announced Thursday that two of the four lanes will open Friday at 10 pm. The remaining two lanes will open Saturday by 6 am. The new southbound and northbound bridges will be known as the Yadkin River Veterans Memorial Bridge.
The northbound bridge is already open and currently hosts traffic going north and south.
The new four-lane southbound bridge has shoulders 12-feet wide to provide safe travel for drivers. The highway department says adding the extra width will reduce congestion and give drivers a safe place to stop when needed.
Yadkin River Veterans Memorial South bridge is twice as wide as the old bridge, built in 1955. Demolition of the old bridge has already started.
"We're proud to bring the citizens of this region what they've wanted for many years - a modern bridge that can easily accommodate the 60,000 vehicles that travel through the area each day," said Secretary Tata in a news release. "By improving critical interstate commerce routes like I-85, we can better meet Gov. Pat McCrory's vision to leverage our transportation assets to stimulate economic growth and create and maintain jobs."
The new bridges are part of the state's I-85 Corridor Improvement Project. For more information, visit www.i-85yadkinriver.com.