The Buster Boyd Bridge is one of Lake Wylie’s enduring and iconic images. Motorists driving NC Hwy 49 south from Charlotte approach the bridge at a slight bend in the road as Lake Wylie opens into view. Cresting over the 1,500foot long bridge, motorists and pedestrians are welcomed by panoramic views up and down the lake. Lake Wylie unites the Carolinas. The Buster Boyd Bridge is its most recognizable connector.
In the early 1920s William “Buster” Boyd, a politician from the Steele Creek area of Southwest Charlotte, successfully lobbied Mecklenburg county commissioners for the completion of a paved road from Charlotte to then-known Lake Catawba. Soon after completion of the road, Boyd continued his lobbying efforts for the creation of a bridge connecting Mecklenburg County NC to York County SC upon land which he was owned. In 1923, at a cost of $120,000, the first bridge spanning Lake Catawba was completed and named in honor of Boyd.
A grand celebration of the Buster Boyd Bridge took place in August of 1923. The current governors of both states were present along with more than 10,000 spectators. Live bands played music, food was served, and several aerial flying stunts were performed. Capt. Elliot White Springs of Fort Mill flew his biplane under the new bridge, captured in a now famous image.
In the 1960s Lake Catawba was renamed in honor of Dr. Gill Walker Wylie, Lake Wylie’s first founder. 1961 saw construction of the second Buster Boyd Bridge at a final cost of $700,000.
The third and current Buster Boyd Bridge began construction in 1999 as a joint effort between the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the South Carolina Department of Transportation. The most recent bridge took over 4 years to finish, at a cost of $12 million. The bridge opened up vehicle traffic from 2 lanes to 4 lanes and allowed for pedestrian crossing via a walkway.
Almost 100 years later, the Buster Boyd Bridge serves as the major access and arterial across Lake Wylie. Its location is an unofficial halfway point between the northern part of Lake Wylie and the southern part of the lake. The bridge has been instrumental in the development of the surrounding land, in particular the unincorporated Lake Wylie township area of York County SC. Tens of thousands of residents use the bridge every day. Locals can attest… driving down Hwy 49, reaching the bridge and crossing over the water creates a euphoric feeling of calm and comfort. The Buster Boyd Bridge welcomes us home.
Did you know?
The Buster Boyd Bridge is the only bridge in the Carolinas in which North Carolina is located on the southern side. South Carolina is located on the northern side.
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