North Road Street closure set for September 4

Published 4:55 pm Tuesday, August 28, 2018

RPC Contracting of Kitty Hawk announced August 15 that North Road Street at North Boundary Canal in Columbia will be closed to traffic beginning at 9 a.m., Tuesday, September 4.

Purpose of the closure is to install a much larger culvert in North Boundary Canal designed to improve storm water drainage in areas northeast of the town. The top of the culvert will be about 18 inches higher than the existing street surface, and the roadway approaches will be elevated accordingly.

Unexpected was RPC’s statement that “the estimated length for the closure is not to exceed six weeks.”

Tyrrell County manager David Clegg on August 17 explained some of the unknowns associated with the project. He stated:

“This project involves the installation of a box culvert with a complete cofferdam dewatering process and extensive excavation. Subgrade conditions are unpredictable and will require complete closure of the roadway to allow for the most efficient, industry recognized, and safe construction practices and to insure against any degradation of the integrity of the roadway and bank area. Decisions concerning the road closure were made in keeping with subgrade status, current industry practice and public safety and will be kept to a minimum.”

RPC Contracting also added that “a footbridge will be installed across the canal between Captain Neill’s Seafood and Crossroads Fuel Service.”

Tyrrell Volunteer Fire Department’s main station is north of the canal, and it was reported that some firefighting equipment will be relocated to the south, or town, side while the road and canal work is underway, perhaps on the parking lot at nearby Faith Baptist Church, Tyrrell Hall, or the Board of Education on Scuppernong Drive.

The detour route from Columbia to Crossroads Fuel Service, Tyrrell Prison Work Farm, Oakwood Cemetery, two cemeteries of churches inside Columbia, Wildlife Resources Commission’s maintenance facility, and residential and farming, fishing and forestry interests in Riverneck and Sound Side sections of the county will be over U.S. 64 East, Old 64 Road, Newfoundland Road, and Sound Side Road, as much as 20 miles more than usual.

Washington-Tyrrell Emergency Medical Services and the sheriff’s office are south of the work zone, which translates into longer response times to areas beyond the blockage.

Volunteer firefighters in or south of town must use the detour route when responding to the main station.

Clegg also explained the project this way:

“The roadway and drainage project located at the North Boundary Canal on SR 1209, Road Street, has begun in earnest. Dominion Power has relocated poles and lines and extensive boring and survey work has been completed by the contractor, RPC, of Kitty Hawk. Plans have been finalized for a pedestrian bridge to be installed across the canal between Crossroad Fuel Company and Captain Neill’s Seafood. The project involves the relocation and protection of numerous public utilities and is being staged at the site of the old school bus garage on property owned by Tyrrell County.”

Those public utilities include telephone and cable television lines as well as water, sewer and natural gas pipes.

Rose Welding and Crane Service will install the footbridge and a cofferdam in the canal, probably on September 4, Clegg said.

A cofferdam is a watertight enclosure from which water is pumped to expose the bottom of the stream bed and permit construction there.

The undated closure announcement, on county commissioners’ letterhead, was emailed on August 15, and reads as follows:

“State Road 1209 (Road Street) will be closed at the North Boundary Canal beginning at 9 am on Tuesday, September 4, 2018. The estimated length for the closure is not to exceed six weeks. The road will be closed to complete a drainage and roadway improvement project.

“A footbridge will be installed across the Canal between Captain Neill’s Seafood and Crossroad Fuel Service.

“Project engineer: Rivers and Associates, Greenville, NC. Contractor: RPC Contracting, Kitty Hawk, NC.”