The Transylvania Times -

By Matt McGregor
Staff Writer 

Firefighters Want Trestle Removed – Brevard NC


February 27, 2017

This Brevard Fire Department truck illustrates the problem with trying to drive along Davidson River Road. (Times photo by Matt McGregor)

The Brevard Fire Department wants to have the railroad trestle on Davidson River Road removed to cut response time to the Cemetery Road area, where there are a number of homes.

"Any emergency vehicle that has a tall vehicle can't go under the trestle, so we have to go around on Old Hendersonville Highway," said Mark Norton, the fire department's assistant chief.

Brevard Fire Chief Craig Budzinski said travelling from the department's station in downtown to the Cemetery Road area along the Asheville Highway to Davidson River Road is a distance of about 5.3 miles, including eight additional stoplights to go through.

It would be more optimal for the fire truck to head down North Broad Street and then veer off on the Old Hendersonville Highway.

To the trestle, the distance is then 2.8 miles, with two stoplights.

"That's a difference of 2.5 miles plus traffic and stop lights," Budzinski said.

Norton said that additional 2.5 miles to go around the Asheville Highway could cost lives.

Budzinski said Watco, a Pittsburgh-based transportation company, owns the trestle, and he is currently drafting a letter to the company to ask to have the trestle removed. The railway line has been abandoned for several years.

"I don't see how it could ever be used again, and it's just in the way right now," Budzinski said.

The railway line, however, that travels across the trestle is part of the proposed Ecusta Trail, a 19-mile rail trail that would connect Hendersonville with Brevard.

Chris Burns, who is on the board of directors for the Ecusta Trail project, said the removal of the trestle wouldn't impact the future trail project at all.

"Considering that it's a safety hazard, that's most important," he said. "And though I haven't seen that area, I'm guessing the trail could just become a road crossing, and it would probably be cheaper than making a trail across the trestle."


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