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Mortimer Campground bridge replacement project underway

MORTIMER, NC (August 24, 2020) — On August 10th, the Mortimer Campground closed for construction to begin on a new bridge to replace the low water crossing of Thorps Creek which flows through the campground.

U.S. Forest Service District Ranger Nicholas Larson told us, “We are very excited about this improvement to Mortimer. As I’m sure you know, Wilson Creek is very flash flood prone, and having this bridge will be great for emergency access to the campground. We’ve had multiple incidents over the years where we’ve had to evacuate people from the campground or ask campers to remain in place until water recedes.”

The new bridge will eliminate a fish barrier and provide safe access to the back loop of the campground, which is often cut off during heavy rainfall that floods the low water crossing.

The bridge replacement is part of a U.S. Forest Service initiative in partnership with Trout Unlimited to improve water quality, and native and wild trout habitat in the Wilson Creek Watershed. Other watershed restoration projects will reduce sedimentation, improve fish passage for native trout, and collect water quality data through citizen science.

Larson added “We are really excited about the partnership with Trout Unlimited, this has been a project we’ve been trying to get done for several years and their help has been essential.”

Depending on construction timelines, the campground may remain closed for the rest of the season. Mortimer Campground is located northwest of Lenoir in the Wilson Creek Watershed in Caldwell County, NC.

As you will see in the photos below, the new bridge is being built just upstream from the existing low water bridge.

U.S. Forest Service Photo of existing low water bridge
Caldwell Journal photo of new construction 08-22-2020
Caldwell Journal photo of new construction 08-22-2020
Caldwell Journal photo of new construction 08-22-2020
U.S. Forest Service new bridge construction plans

For a larger version of the above map click here…