MENU
component-ddb-728x90-v1-01-desktop

Ask 13: Could there be another solution to low train trestle in Brevard?

A retired engineer has a possible solution for an old train trestle that causes trouble for emergency responders. The trestle is too low for fire and rescue trucks in Transylvania County to drive under, and first responders lose precious minutes driving around it. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

A retired engineer has a possible solution for an old train trestle that causes trouble for emergency responders.

The trestle is too low for fire and rescue trucks in Transylvania County to drive under, and first responders lose precious minutes driving around it.

Firemen want the trestle brought down. But the owner of the tracks, Blue Ridge Southern, said it has no plans to remove the abandoned line.

RELATED | Brevard firefighters want trestle removed to cut down response time

Patrick Kennedy contacted News 13 after seeing the story in February.

"I am a retired county highway engineer from Orange County, New York," Kennedy wrote Ask 13. "Why hasn't anyone thought to lower the road under the bridge, which would be a faster and easier solution? I know from experience that dealing with railroads is all but impossible."

This train trestle on Davidson River Road was built in the 1920s, the N.C. DOT said. The bridge has 9-feet-3 inches of clearance, not enough for firetrucks and other emergency vehicles.

DOT said it has been asked several times over the years about how to best get emergency vehicles underneath it.

So why not just lower the road?

The DOT is worried that digging around the trestle's foundation could cause the bridge to be unsafe.Complicating matters even more, the trestle is built in the flood plain, which would require meeting strict government guidelines which might be impossible to comply with.

"And we have the Davidson River over here to the right. And if you lower the road, the river is going to come across it. Another thing that makes it very, very difficult, almost impossible to lower it is because that bridge is 100 years old. When you dig below it, you're getting into the foundation of that trestle and that possibly could create another dangerous situation," NCDOT communications officer David Uchiyama said.

Another concern for the DOT -- any work on the bridge would have an impact on the Davidson River. Officials said that could harm the ecosystem.

So, while lowering the road is a great idea, because the river is so close, it's just not going to work here.

If you have a question you'd like answered, write to Ask13@WLOS.com.

Trending