Creek to be opened

Published 7:53 pm Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Council approves plan to demolish Charlotte Street bridge

That bridge in London may have fallen down in the famous nursery rhyme, but the Charlotte Street bridge will be torn down.

During its meeting Monday, the Washington City Council unanimously voted to authorize the city manager to restart the demolition of the bridge. The decision drew applause from several people in the Council Chambers.

The decision came after several meetings in January and February during which the bridge issue was discussed. Last month, about a dozen speakers urged the council to either demolish the bridge or replace its existing metal pipes with four 8-foot-by-8-foot box culverts to improve draining in the Jack’s Creek basin after major storms and hurricanes. The Charlotte Street bridge project is part of a larger $3.8 million construction project to improve drainage in the Jack’s Creek drainage area, which handles about 80 percent of stormwater drainage in the city.

The council considered two options. One option called for demolishing the bridge. The other option called for withdrawing the demolition of the bridge from the contract with T.A. Loving Company, the contractor for the $3.8 million construction project.

“Mr. Chairman, I think the people spoke at the last meeting. We heard their concerns,” Councilman Ed Moultrie said to Mayor Archie Jennings just before he made the motion to proceed with demolishing the bridge.

Mayor Pro Tempore Bobby Roberson seconded the motion.

“I just want to say as part of the discussion I think Councilman Moultrie is exactly right. We heard the public. I want to commend the council for taking the time to hear the public on this issue. I, for one, have gotten several comments from councilmen and from citizens who were here or saw on TV the public hearing, commending the public on how well prepared they were, how well spoken they were and the general tone of the public hearing, I thought, was one of the better that I’ve ever been a part of. I know there are a couple folks here that were a part of that. I want to commend you for taking an interest and coming forward. … Again, I think it was a wise thing for the council to do to stop and get word from the public on how they felt about this issue.”

For additional coverage of the council’s meeting, see future editions of the Washington Daily News.

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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