PITTSBORO — The Town of Pittsboro is considering a temporary fix for the replacement of the bridge and culvert on Pittsboro Elementary School Road that had been destroyed during flash flooding last …
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PITTSBORO — The Town of Pittsboro is considering a temporary fix for the replacement of the bridge and culvert on Pittsboro Elementary School Road that had been destroyed during flash flooding last September during Hurricane Florence.
The town took action to fix the damage immediately after the storms, hiring Wetherill Engineering to do an inspection and conduct a hydraulic analysis while staff pursued FEMA funds for the replacement. When the town received approval from FEMA, it outlined a tentative timeline for the repair with an estimated finish date of later this year.
According to Pittsboro town manager Bryan Gruesbeck, as the bridge is located in a flood plain, FEMA is requiring the town to create a Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR) to show how the bridge will impact the flood plain. Gruesbeck stated that additional requirements will add time to the replacement project.
At a Pittsboro Board of Commissioners meeting last week, Pittsboro resident Martha Almond, who lives next to the culvert, addressed the board about the situation. Since the culvert was damaged, she noted, subsequent storms have caused her and her neighbors’ homes to flood three times. The damaged culvert appears to have created a dam at the location, forcing water to go around and into the yards and crawl spaces of the neighbors. Gruesbeck acknowledged that soil borings indicate additional materials and rock will need to be removed.
Gruesbeck suggested that commissioners consider a temporary fix to the culvert and bridge in the interest of “safety and traffic.” Pittsboro’s Utility Service Director John Poteat has been investigating solutions and believes a temporary fix could be done in May, with the work taking a few days to complete. Gruesbeck discussed the option with commissioners last week, but did not have a confirmation of the estimated costs at that time. The commissioners generally agreed that staff should pursue the option.
Casey Mann can be reached at CaseyMann@chathamnr.com.