New Yadkin River bridge to open overnight

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SALISBURY, N.C. -- Some time in the wee hours of Saturday morning, the I-85 Northbound lanes will open over the Yadkin River.

The new bridge, which will be accessible starting sometime between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., is not opening a moment too soon for most I-85 drivers, including Gov. Bev Perdue.

"I remember one cold, rainy day when I was crossing this bridge and I thought 'Dear God it might collapse today,'" Perdue said Thursday of the old bridge.

Perdue said the old bridge -- built in 1955 -- has served its purpose, but the new one will be safer and reduce the number of major traffic jams.

Jonny Westbrook, who regularly hauls 80,000 lbs. of truck plus whatever his tractor-trailer is carrying along the East Coast, said he's seen his fair share of backups.

"It needs to get done. That's the truth," Westbrook said. "Once you get past Kannapolis, forget it. It's a b----. Everything slows down to a standstill."