Star Staff Reports
Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr., hosted a dedication ceremony last week for a new bridge and road that eliminates traffic delays at a railroad crossing in North Shelby County.
Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland and area community leaders attended the event where the new bridge crosses over the Canadian National Railroad tracks on the newly aligned Fite Road/Armstrong Field Road, just east of Highway 51
“Construction began on this project three years ago. Citizens in this area of the county had asked for this new bridge and connecting road for years. This has been one of my top priorities,” said Luttrell.
Armstrong Field Road is open from Fite Road to Old Millington Road. Armstrong Field from Old Millington Road to Highway 51 won’t open until the traffic signal is turned on. Crews are still busy repairing signals damaged by the recent storm.
Armstrong Field Road is named after a former grass airfield nearby that once hosted the arrival of Charles Lindbergh in his Spirit of St. Louis airplane back in 1927. Commissioner Roland plans to ask the Shelby County Commission to name the new bridge on Armstrong Field Road for Ralph Adams.
Adams died more than a decade ago when the ambulance he was in got delayed at the Fite Road railroad crossing.
“Trains won’t be an issue now for emergency vehicles from our nearby Shelby County Fire Station,” said Tom Needham, Public Works Director for Shelby County Government. “The total project cost is $14.8 million with $12.3 million in federal funds through the support of the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the remaining $2.5 million from Shelby County Government,” added Needham.
“The citizens of north Shelby County have anxiously anticipated this day for many years. We appreciate Mayor Luttrell’s support and dedication to see this project through,” said Charlotte T. Smith, President of the People of Woodstock community association.
Following the June 5 ceremony, Smith, brothers Trent and Kevin McVay, whose father, the late Roscoe McVay, Sr., a longtime advocate for the railroad bridge, and Commissioner Roland, joined Luttrell for the first ride over the Fite Road railroad crossing.
Star Staff Reports