City seeks street closure

Published 12:58 am Tuesday, November 15, 2011

If city officials have their way, a segment of East Main Street and its right of way near Havens Gardens and the Norfolk Southern Railway will be closed.

During its meeting Monday, the City Council was expected to follow the recommendation of the Planning Board and adopt a resolution of intent to close the segment of East Main Street that intersects with a portion of Park Drive and schedule a public hearing on the proposal. The hearing is expected to be conduct at the council’s Dec. 12 meeting.

Closing that section of East Main Street likely would help ease traffic concerns at and near the intersection of East Main Street, Park Drive and Hudnell Street, city officials have said.

The council also was expected to authorize the mayor to sign an agreement with the N.C. Department of Transportation to inspect bridges in the city.

The National Bridge Inspection Standards require all bridges exceeding 20 feet in length and open to the public be inspected for structural integrity and safety every two years. The city has one bridge over Jack’s Creek at East Main Street.

Depending on when that inspection occurs, the new Brown Street bridge over Jack’s Creek may be inspected as well, pending its completion. The inspection(s) will be conducted in 2012.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is responsible for ensuring that all bridges are inspected. DOT will employ an engineering company to make the inspections.

The Federal Highway Administration pays 80 percent of the inspection costs, with the city paying the remaining 20 percent.

A document included in the council’s agenda packet indicates it will cost an estimated $520 to inspect each bridge.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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