I’d like to update you on the ongoing renovation of the Hiede Trask Drawbridge. This project includes numerous improvements, including new mechanical and electrical work, new bridge grating, painting, repaving, and new bridge tender quarters. As of late January, the North Carolina Department of Transportation informed us that we will have use of all four lanes again in early April. The entire project should be completed by early fall. I can assure you that we are working closely with NC DOT and area agencies to reduce the inconvenience and delays caused by the current lane limitations. Unfortunately, I cannot promise you that the delays will be eliminated. There is no easy cure for merging five lanes of incoming traffic into one lane or merging three outgoing lanes into one, especially when there is only one way on and off the island. I ask for your patience and understanding as we work to bring this much needed project to completion.
We have been fortunate to have received a bounty of recent infrastructure improvements, including extensive renovations to all three island bridges, updated stop lights and crosswalks, repaving West Salisbury along with marked bike lanes, and the soon to be completed and long-anticipated HAWK (High Intensity Activated Crosswalk) Light at Causeway and North Channel. All of these projects were necessary and we greatly appreciate NC DOT’s efforts. We are optimistic that future projects will include increased bicycle access and the repaving of Waynick Boulevard.
Other important local maintenance projects that are in process include work on the Masonboro Inlet South Jetty and the dredging of Mason’s Inlet. We are also scheduled for our next storm damage reduction project (beach renourishment) in the first quarter of 2014. All of these projects are integral to the health of our coastal economy, not to mention our quality of life.
We recently sent our legislative agenda to our state representatives, Senator Thom Goolsby and Representative Ted Davis. Our local agenda includes seeking state funding for Wrightsville Beach’s 2014 nourishment project, identifying sustainable revenue options and funding sources to pay for future beach nourishment and inlet / waterway maintenance, supporting fair coastal insurance rates, introducing a local act to enable Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach and Kure Beach to enforce beach strand smoking bans on state owned areas of the beach strand, and encouraging the state to protect future water sources (aquifers) by regulating the use private and high use wells.
Finally, I’d like to thank Bill Columbus for donating the equipment that has enabled us to stream our board meetings. I encourage all of you to visit the town’s website at www.towb.org and click on WATCH THE BOARD MEETINGS LIVE. By signing up with Live Stream, you will receive advanced e-mail notices of meetings and be able to view them live or archived. A great example of how today’s technology allows us to keep informed despite our increasingly busy daily lives. Take advantage of it!
The past year was another busy, yet successful year for our town. Your Board of Aldermen will continue to work hard to preserve and protect the things that make our community such a great place to call home while also preparing our town for the challenges that lie ahead. I hope you will take a few minutes to read about some of the town’s accomplishments over the past year. Just click on the tab below.
Make it a great day,