Project Overview

The N.C. Department of Transportation proposes to permanently close and remove the Fonsoe Street bridge located over the canal between Railroad Street and Elementary School Road in Columbia. NCDOT is proposing to close and remove the bridge during the Winter of 2021.

Following bridge removal it would be recommended that motorists use either of the following alternate routes:

  • U.S. 64 to L.A. Keiser Drive to Elementary School Road
  • U.S. 64 to N.C. 94 (S. Broad Street) to Elementary School Road 


This bridge was built in 1961, is constructed entirely of wood with a 2.5 inch thick asphalt driving surface, and is 46 feet long, 25 feet wide.  As of 2014, on average, 278 vehicles per day used the bridge.

In March 2012, a weight limit prohibiting buses and tractor trailers was placed on the bridge.  No vehicle over 6 tons (12,000 lbs) were allowed on the bridge due to the poor condition of the bridge. 

It is important to note that a school bus weighs 16-17 tons  while a loaded fire truck weighs 17-18 tons. 

Construction vehicles, such as Dump Trucks and Trucks with Trailers can be much heavier.  

Overweight vehicles have been witnessed crossing the structure.  Due to this fact and safety concerns over the condition of the bridge, NCDOT is proposing to remove the bridge completely.  The close proximity to additional roadways and bridges ensures that no hardship to the traveling public will be created by removal of the bridge. 

Statewide Bridge Facts 

  • As of 2021, there are approximately 13,600 bridges in service in North Carolina 
  • Each of these bridges is inspected every 2 years 
  • About 1,100 (8.2%) of the State's bridges are considered Structurally Deficient
    • ​Structurally deficient means that the bridge or part of it is in poor condition.   These bridges require significant maintenance to remain in service and often require limits on vehicle weights.  
  • To replace the structurally deficient bridges throughout North Carolina would cost more than $3.5 billion

Highway Division 1 Facts

(Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Hyde, Martin, Northampton,  Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell, and Washington counties)

  • As of 2021, there are approximately 573 bridges in service in Division 1
  • Each of these bridges is inspected every 2 years 
  • About 36 (6.3%) of the Division's bridges are considered Structurally Deficient
  • Current funding is approximately $5 million per year
  • This allows replacement of approximately 5 structures per year in Division 1

Tyrrell County Facts

  • 23 Bridges 
  • 4 Bridges are Structurally Deficient
    • Bridge #87 -  This Bridge 
    • Bridge #17 – Newlands Road (Riders Creek)
      • Currently under construction
      • Cost – $1,900,000
    • Bridge #18 – Newlands Road (Second Creek)
      • Planned for FY 24
      • Estimated Cost - $850,000
    • Bridge #23 – Magnolia Cross / S Fork Creek Road (Canal)
      • Planned for FY 22
      • Estimated Costs - $775,000

Project Comments


The public is encouraged to leave any questions or comments using this website or the project email or phone number.


Project Email:

Project Phone Number: 984-205-6615 enter project code 7660  


Question title

Do you have any comments or questions regarding the Fonsoe Street bridge removal?

Project Contact:

John Abel, Jr.

NCDOT Division 1

Division Bridge Program Manager

113 Airport Drive, Suite 100

Edenton, NC  27932