The Unofficial
I-26 Construction
Madison County
North Carolina

Dramatic picture showing many items of interest at the Bear Branch Road interchange. In the central section of the view is the site of the bridge crossing Laurel Creek. This bridge will be about 60' above the stream, and is on an 8% grade from right to left. The columns and one of the end bents (foundations) are visible. Right behind the columns is the original Bear Branch Road location. The old bridge is still there although hidden behind the trees. In front of the columns is a temporary stream crossing to allow heavy construction vehicles to cross Laurel Creek (a trout stream) without tearing it up. A detour route over to US 23 is visible on the far left side of the photograph, which connects Bear Branch Road to the relocated US route. On the far right and running back up the mountain you can see the location of the interstate. This portion is in its final location already, although the ramps aren't built yet. The green fill slope right behind and above the bridge columns is a rock buttress that has been plated over with earth and seeded to blend the construction into the surrounding scenery as much as possible. At the top center is an unfinished rock buttress that is holding up a cut slope, and to the left of it is the location of a waste site where excess material is placed.

 John Lansford
5 July 1998