Council Gets Update On Cape Fear Blvd Project

Council Gets Update On Cape Fear Blvd Project Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 02 September 2015 04:00

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - Carolina Beach Town Manager Michael Cramer updated Town Council on August 28th, on the progress of an infrastructure project on Cape Fear Blvd. The scheduled completion date has been extended a couple of times and last month the Town Council voiced concerns about delays and management.
The Council voted unanimously at their Tuesday August 11th, meeting to approve of budget amendments funding an additional $500,000 to repair failing storm drain lines on Cape Fear Blvd.
At the July 14, 2015 Council meeting the Town Manager updated Council about the progress of the Phase 1 A Infrastructure Project. During the update it was revealed that the last section of the project from 3rd St to 6th St on Cape Fear Blvd contains storm water infrastructure in desperate need of repair. The cost to improve the infrastructure is estimated at $500,000 and will delay the completion of the project until October 1, 2015.
Council requested that Cramer bring back a change order for the storm water infrastructure repair and the extension of the project until October 1, 2015.
Council unanimously adopted a Budget Ordinance Amendment to fund up to $500,000 of additional work through a transfer of funds from the Utility Fund Balance and adopted a Resolution allowing the town to seek financing to reimburse the Utility Fund.
The Phase 1A project, financed under an $8 million dollar loan in 2014, served to replace aging water, sewer and storm water lines in commercial and residential areas throughout Town as part of a larger phased long range plan. That included improvements to the streetscape design along both Cape Fear Blvd and Canal Drive in the Boardwalk area.
East of Lake Park Blvd, wider sidewalks were installed to 3rd Street. A multi-use bike and walking path is planned from 3rd Street to Dow Road on Cape Fear.
Cramer explained the storm water issue to Council earlier this summer stating, "The last section of Cape Fear Blvd from 3rd Street to 6th Street was evaluated several years ago and since that time the storm drainage infrastructure in this area has become increasingly distressed. We have recently identified multiple joint failures, tree root penetration and two sections of collapsed pipe.  The storm water replacement that was included for this section of roadway was limited a few hundred feet of pipe and a couple of catch basins.  Approximately 50 % of the storm water infrastructure will need to be replaced in order to install the proposed multi use path on the Southside of Cape Fear Blvd. If we were to correct all of the storm water problems that have been identified it will cost between $300,000 and $500,000 to replace. It will also extend the completion of the project approximately 44 days and the project will not be complete until October 9, 2015.  The costs of these improvements were not included in our installment financing for the project and we would require a budget adjustment from the Utility Fund Fund Balance to complete the work."
During the Council's August 11th, meeting several council members requested regular updates on the project in order to avoid any surprises and to be informed when answering questions from the public.
On August 28th, Cramer delivered an update to the Council. He explained that several weeks ago himself and Operations Director Gil Dubois met with several citizens on Cape Fear Blvd to discuss the progress of the Project.
He explained, "We had about 10 people at the meeting and we talked about the project and the timeline.  The Citizens were naturally frustrated with the length of the project, the progress of the project and they had three issues that would make the completion of the project more tolerable."
Those issues were:
1. Stop the Non-Owner Traffic in the area,
2. Stop the Dust,
3. Store the Equipment somewhere else.
Cramer explained, "Signs went up the next day on Cape Fear to detour motorist that did not live in the immediate area around to Harper or other street connected to Lake Park. This has reduced some of the pass through traffic in the area" and, "The contractor has been required to increase watering of street.  The contractor has hired a full time person to water the roads and reduce dust from the construction. Depending on rainfall, and weather conditions the driver varies his route times and duration of watering and waters the area approximately 6 times per day."
Cramer explained the contractor has placed two flaggers at the intersections under construction. They are stopping non-residents of that street and requesting they take an alternate route. They are also working with Postal Carriers, UPS, Fed Ex and Waste Industries when moving through the area to help continue delivery of those services.
He explained, "Big trucks were asked to limit their access and number of trips up and down the road.  This was fairly controllable until they started removing the soil under the old asphalt street. At this time the streets are being undercut and stripped so stone can be installed and final grading can be accomplished."
He explained the contractor has removed much of the parked equipment in the area to other portions of the project and side properties.
Cramer explained, "Trees and obstructions in the Right of Way have been removed.  Storm water infrastructure was re-routed to limit tree removal. Storm water infrastructure work has been completed between 3rd St and 6th St. Water and Sewer connections have been made for services along Cape Fear from 3rd to 6th Street."
Cramer said surveys have been completed and grading of the road has begun. Asphalt installation was scheduled for Tuesday September 1st at the intersection of 3rd Street and Cape Fear Blvd moving west towards 4th Street. Grading has started for the multi-use path from 3rd Street to 6th Street and he anticipates paving will begin soon.
Cramer explained, "The project is on schedule to be complete by October 1, 2015."

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