Lock and Dam No. 2 to be closed for one year

Bladen Journal (Elizabethtown, N.C.)

Nov. 07–ELIZABETHTOWN — Lock and Dam No. 2 is getting a “lock” of its own.

Elizabethtown Town Council board members on Monday heard from town architect Rod Fritz, who said the Elizabethtown site will be closed for approximately one year.

“There’s a scour hole in the river just below the dam, about the size of a football field and about 60 feet deep,” Fritz informed the board, referring to holes caused when rapidly moving water swirls around bridge abutments or piers and removes the sediment around them. Scour holes can eventually compromise the integrity of the structures above them.

“That scour hole has been there for 30 years,” countered Councilman Howell Clark.

“(The Army Corps of Engineers) is afraid if they don’t get it under control, it will undermine the property,” Fritz responded.

The project, according to Fritz, will cost approximately $18 million, which will be funded by the Corps of Engineers.

It’s not just the lock and dam that will be closed, however. The project will involve 8,000 trucks in and out of Lock Road 24 hours a day for the better part of 300 days, so the road itself will be closed “for a significant portion” of the 300 days, according to Fritz.

The facts were presented as an information item only.

In other action, the board:

— Heard an audit report by Thompson, Price, Scott, and Adams, which said the town finance department “is to be commended for everything (it’s) doing to generate revenue and keep a handle on expenses.” Accountant Bryan Scott also commended the town’s robust internal accountability processes. The audit found everything to be compliant.

— Approved rezoning two parcels of land located at 2900 and 2904 E. Broad St. from Medium Density Residential to General Commercial. The land belongs to McDuffie Pest Control.

— Approved a change order for the airport terminal to reflect value engineering and the additional cost of repaving the parking lot, which will be covered by a NCDOT grant. The net change is $23,517.

— Agreed to draft an ordinance to lower the speed limit on McCloud Street.

— Approved the low bid for renovations to the Tory Hole Park restrooms. F3 Construction will be completing the work for $59,274, which will be paid out of a PARTF grant.

— Approved the purchase of a walk-in freezer for Bladen Crisis Assistance, possible by donations from Bladen We Care, Elizabethtown Presbyterian Church, and the Clark family.

— Approved the disbursement of $5,000 for the Pork and Beats Festival, which reflects money already raised for the purpose.

— Heard an update on Phase II of the Revitalization Project. Assistant town manager Pat DeVane said the project is “moving along at a pretty rapid pace” and should be going out for bids soon. DeVane also said the streetscaping plans “have been very well received” by property owners along Broad Street.

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing ccarroll@bladenjournal.com.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Waterways Council, Inc.