Walkway will have timber, concrete sections|Promenade will pass under western end of new N.C. 32 bridge

Published 1:23 pm Saturday, August 22, 2009

Contributing Editor

Washington officials believe the City Council’s decision to use concrete decking for part of a walkway under the new N.C. Highway 32 bridge being built next to Havens Gardens instead of timber decking will pay off in the long run.
That was their reasoning earlier this month when the council appropriated $27,000 from the general fund’s reserves to cover the cost of the concrete decking. Although the timber decking was the least expensive of the two options, council members said they believed concrete decking would last longer and require less maintenance than timber decking.
Phil Mobley, the city’s parks and recreation director, told the council at its Aug. 10 meeting that there was about a two-month window of opportunity to have a contractor install the section of the concrete decking under where the west end of the new bridge will be located.
While the segment of the walkway directly under the new bridge will be concrete, the northern and southern ends of the walkway will be timber.
The concrete decking will be a little lower than the timber segments, Mobley said in an interview earlier this week.
The city is looking at installing “hog-slat” concrete decking under the new bridge, Mobley said.
“We’ve got to make sure its handicapped-accessible,” he said.
Plans call for the walkway to be built over Runyon Creek, with the walkway connecting to land on the west bank of the creek. The walkway, estimated to be about 300 feet long, would form something like this bracket: ].
The walkway, which will have observations areas, would connect parts of Havens Garden that are separated by the highway, allowing pedestrians to move between those areas without crossing the highway. The walkway also would connect boat ramps north of the highway to sections of Havens Garden south of the highway.
The walkway is part of an overall plan to improve and reconfigure Havens Garden after the new bridge is built. Those proposed improvements include upgrading the boat ramp and a parking area north of the existing highway.