Rumors swirl about Green Street pedestrian bridge in Winston-Salem

by Daniel Schere

Green Street at the southeast corner of BB&T Ballpark

Over the past couple of days a rumor has been swirling that a stakeholder in or near the Brookstown development near BB&T Ballpark is making an attempt to stop the construction of the Green Street pedestrian bridge.

Councilwoman Molly Leight sent out an email Sunday night in which she expressed outrage at the suggestion that the project would not happen.

“Now I hear that a big-money stakeholder in the ballpark area

development (who could that possibly be?) wants to tear down Green St.

overpass completely, presumably to keep the riffraff (that is us South

Warders) from accessing the high end development he has planned for the

area!” she wrote in the email.

Leight said in an interview that concerns from residents in West Salem about the bridge have been swirling for a couple of weeks, but so far none have been substantiated.

“I have received all sorts of reassurances right and left from people concerned with the area around the ballpark that, oh no, there was never such intention of this.”

Councilman Dan Besse said he had communicated with DOT project engineer Pat Ivey, who dismissed any notion of the bridge not being included in the Business 40 improvement project.

“He responded that he had heard about that issue, but that the pedestrian bridge is included in both interchange alternatives that are being considered by NCDOT,” Besse said. “And he said I should be assured that the department will include the pedestrian bridge as part of the project.”

Ivey later confirmed in an interview that indeed the bridge is included in both interchange alternatives for the Business 40 project. He said the total cost will be about $400,000 out of a $70 million operation that will see construction begin in 2016 and shut down part of the interstate for two years.

The Green Street Bridge was damaged in a trucking accident in 2006. Ivey said it was never repaired due to the low volume of traffic on Green Street

“At that time we were in the process of doing some preliminary planning and development on the Business 40 project, and we knew even at that time that it might be that we would be looking at a pedestrian bridge, because as you recall the ballpark was actually being developed at that time,” he said. “And we knew that part of the old Green Street was going to be removed. So we knew vehicular traffic was going to be taken off of Green Street.”

Ivey said the DOT will decide which interchange alternative to pursue at the end of this month.