Old Mill Pond Bridge Project Timeline
Mid October 2016…NCDOT conducted further examinations from topside as well as under the water line. In order to reduce the time closed, NCDOT looked into making temporary repairs.
November 2016…Estimates revealed that temporary repairs would cost approximately $800,000 while a full replacement would cost $3 million. NCDOT chose to forgo temporary repairs and put all financial and planning resources into building a brand new bridge.
12-12-2016…Falls Avenue Bridge Update
Winter 2017…NCDOT removed plans for the new bridge from a package of bridges, and put it up for bid by itself as an accelerated design-build project.
01-26-2017…Request for proposals
02-21-2017…Three Bids Submitted
03-06-2017…Contract Awarded to R. E. Burns & Sons ($3,209,934.00)
04-23-2017…Work on Falls Avenue Bridge to start in May
05-18-2017…Spoke to Mr. Odell White (Granada Farms Golf Club Owner) and he denied blocking the progress of the new bridge construction. The NCDOT confirmed this as well. The Town of Granite Falls is working with the owner to provide water if needed in the event that the level of the Mill Pond did have to be lowered for construction purposes.
05-23-2017…Contractor informed us that work would begin on Thursday, June 15, 2017. (Work actually began on Wednesday, June 14, 2017)
06-14-2017…Work began on bridge.
06-29-2017…Old Mill Pond was completely drained to facilitate construction of new bridge. Old Mill Pond in Granite Falls now completely drained
07-06-2017…Old Mill Pond water level up to approximately 1/4 of normal. Also, heard that the causeway construction is to begin on Friday, July 7, 2017.
There have been many rumors and some misinformation surrounding this project…
The Granada Farms Golf Club did not delay this project.
The bridge collapse on May 17, 2017 was not a result of traffic continuing to drive across the bridge. Concrete barriers have been in place for many months.
The motorcycles jumping the collapsed section of the bridge did not have any bearing on the start date of construction.
NC Wildlife Resource Commission District 8 Fishery Biologist Chris Wood told us that they have been aware of the bridge project and its possible impact. They already have plans to re-stock the pond with a variety of fish species at the appropriate time. Wood also told us that they are working to secure property for public access to the pond and are motivated to make the pond a good fishing resource.
As far as the Old Mill Pond water level is concerned, there have been previous reports that the level would not have to be lowered but we have also heard that a partial draining may have been required. We were also surprised to see the pond completely drained as it was on Thursday, June 29, 2017. The short and simple answer behind the reason for the pond being completely drained is that it was needed to help with the bridge construction and to speed up the process.
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