N&W in 1909--Bluefield bridge

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Mon Mar 2 17:47:23 EST 2009

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
April 18, 1909

People Not Likely to Agree to Shoulder Forty Per Cent. of Cost of Overhead Bridge

W. H Coffman, who was appointed as a committee of one at the Chamber of Commerce meeting Thursday night to consult with the officials of the Norfolk and Western relative to the construction of an overhead bridge at the point, about one thousand yards east of the city limits, where the new country road will cross the railroad tracks, went to Roanoke yesterday, but was unable to discuss the matter with the chief engineer. Chas. S. Churchill, owning to the fact that Mr. Churchill was indisposed. An effort to reach the general manager, N. D. Maher, was futile, as he refused to discuss the subject. An audience was finally secured with President L. E. Johnson, who stated that he was not in favor of a grade crossing at that particular point, and made a proposition on behalf of the company, after estimates of an overhead bridge to be seventy-five feet long with abutments and covering four tracks, with a clearance of twenty-two feet, had been furnished by the engineer, costing about $5,000. The proposition was that the Norfolk and Western would pay 60 per cent, of the cost provided the city and county furnished that remaining 40 per cent, which proposition it is thought will hardly meet with the approval of the people in general, as the reason for constructing the three miles of macadamized road which the county and city have authorized is for the purpose of furnishing better means for bringing business to this city, and will consequently be of advantage to the railroad itself, inasmuch as it means more traffic over their lines which would otherwise go to the Virginian at Princeton. The people, it is believed, will not agree to shouldering 40 per cent. of what should justly fall upon the road that will reap much of the benefit.
[The three miles of road referred to was from the east end of Bluefield to the Gap of the Ridge on the way to Princeton. In the 1940s we called this the "old" Princeton-Bluefield road. Strictly speaking, a macadamized road is a road of just compacted crushed stone, and is named for the Scotsman, McAdam, who devised this improvement over dirt roads. When tar is added, it is termed a "tarmacadam" pavement, usually shortened to "tarmac."]

Gordon Hamilton
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