Staff photo by Allison Potter
All four lanes of the Heide Trask Drawbridge are expected to be open in April, but repairs will continue until fall of 2013.
Infrastructure topped the list of improvements in Wrightsville Beach in 2012 with projected dates of major project completions stretching into 2013.
Heide Trask Drawbridge repairs
The ongoing bridge repairs to the Heide Trask Drawbridge will continue until the fall of 2013, said North Carolina Department of Transportation resident engineer Kerry Cross. However, Cross said after meeting with American Bridge last week he is confident that all four lanes of the bridge will be open by the first week in April.
In addition to repairing the steel grate, American Bridge will also be installing modified latex concrete on some of the bridgeís seams as well as cleaning and repainting the structure.
Crystal Pier repair and renovations
Smith 2 Architecture + Design rendered the plans for the renovation and repair to Crystal Pier in collaboration with Andrew Consulting Engineers and the Oceanic Restaurantís parent company, LM Restaurants.
Frank Smith, Smith 2ís founder, said in addition to restoring the 30-foot section that was cut away from the end of the pier on Sept. 20, the proposed design widens the deck by 6 feet on both sides, out to145 feet; expands the back deck on the north side of the Oceanic to 30 feet; and includes a permanent, aluminum-framed covering over the restaurantís outdoor dining section with a removable canvas awning.
Interim town manager, Tony Wilson, said the planning and parks department is reviewing the plans for the pier and has set a preconstruction meeting for early January.
Masonboro Jetty repair
Mid-December, workers from Precon Marine began repairing the jetty on the north side of Masonboro Island. The project cost $4.9 million. Bob Keistler, a project manager with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, said the project is funded by supplemental federal funds established for projects damaged by Hurricane Irene.
The USACE estimated that 24,000 tons of granite stone would be required to complete the repairs to both the end of the jetty and the elbow section along the first cove on the sound side of Masonboro Island.
Wrightsville Beach assistant public works director Steve Dellies said all of the easements have been acquired for the HAWK light crossing signal to be erected at the crosswalk at the intersection of North Channel and Causeway drives.
The NCDOT is currently in the engineering phase of the project, which can take 12-16 weeks. Dellies said the project would likely be completed in April.
Pelican Drive bulkhead
A new bulkhead has been funded, planned and approved for Lees Cut on Pelican Drive east of the Channel Walk condominiums.
Along with the bulkhead, a kayak launch is also planned for the site. However, Tony Wilson said the kayak launch would have to be approved by the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen at its Jan. 10 meeting.
Whether or not the kayak launch is approved, Wilson said construction on the bulkhead would begin in the spring.