IDA should pursue bridge idea

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 12, 2005

At least somebody is talking about it. An apparently off the cuff remark by chairman John Harrell at Wednesday’s Industrial Development Board meeting snowballed into a discussion of undertaking an effort to save the Kings Fork Highway Bridge.

It’s a discussion worthy of furthering.

The dilapidated, beleaguered span across the Nansemond River in north Suffolk is on its last legs. The Virginia Department of Transportation could decide as soon as today whether to permanently close the bridge connecting Driver and Chuckatuck. A comprehensive two-day study of the structure was undertaken last week.

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Losing that vital link would be a blow to quality of life in that fast-growing area of the city. It

IDA member Dennis Gartman noted that cutting off that access would do &uot;irreparable harm&uot; to what has been accomplished in north Suffolk.

Harrell suggested that a private company might be willing to make the investment needed to shore up the 68-year-old swingspan.

While saving the bridge is certainly the longest of long shots, the IDA should pursue every possibility to save it.