Company To Replace Pedestrian Bridge At Lowes

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CONCORD, N.C. -- The builder of the pedestrian bridge that collapsed and injured race spectators at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May has agreed to replace the walkway.

Tindall Corp., of Spartanburg, S.C., expects to complete the project at no cost to the speedway before an Oct. 8 Winston Cup race, Lowe's Motor Speedway president H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler said Thursday.

Tindall chief executive officer William Lowndes III would not say how much the construction would cost, saying it was between the company and the speedway.

"Tindall has been real responsible, the concrete company has been very, very responsible, and they have agreed to put it back in," Wheeler said.

Ninety-seven people were hospitalized after the walkway collapsed as fans were leaving the speedway May 20 following The Winston, a NASCAR all-star race. All have been released from hospitals, but some face lengthy rehabilitations.

Speedway and Tindall officials have said the bridge failed because the steel support cables that ran through it had rusted badly. They blamed the rust on calcium chloride found in concrete grout, which was used to plug holes at the center of the walkway.

Investigators have still not determined how the calcium chloride got into the grout.

Because the bridge, which carried spectators over U.S. 29, was the property of the speedway, it was not inspected by the state. Since the accident, North Carolina has taken action to inspect all privately owned pedestrian bridges.

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