By Abbie Bennett
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
The multi-million dollar 10th Street Connector project is moving along ahead of schedule, officials said.
The 1.4-mile stretch that will be a highway link between East Carolina University and Vidant Medical Center won’t see construction until the spring of 2015, but right-of-way acquisition is better than anticipated, said Doug Askew, division right-of-way agent with NCDOT.
Construction costs for the connector are estimated at $21.8 million, according to Ed Eatmon, an NCDOT division construction engineer for the project.
The cost of right-of-way acquisition is estimated at $13.41 million, Eatmon said.
Askew said acquisitions are ahead of schedule since residents generally have been agreeable and there hasn’t been much push-back.
Settlement already has been reached on 137 of the 193 properties affected by the connector. Offers have been made on 162 of the properties.
“I think that when the process is being followed through, that people have been pleasantly surprised,” Askew said.
“It’s going very well, considering you usually can’t get two people to agree, much less 193.”
Of the 193 properties being affected by the connector, several already have been or are being cleared. Twenty-nine residences, some of which were vacant, and 43 businesses and signs, will be affected by the project, said Taylor Keith, senior manager of Telics, a subcontractor working with N.C. Department of Transportation on the connector. The remaining 121 properties could be empty lots, easements or other properties, Keith said.
Demolition has started on several properties, with the one of the latest rounds of clearing including 514 Watauga Ave., 1222 and 1206 Farmville Blvd.
Ten to 12 properties have been cleared, Askew said, including several on Myrtle Street, Watauga Avenue, Farmville Boulevard, Chestnut Street, 14th Street, Terrace Avenue and Columbia Avenue.
Some residents chose to relocate their homes rather than have them demolished.
Acquisition of right-of-way properties started last summer and is scheduled to wrap up in October, Askew said. Properties along Farmville Boulevard and 14th Street are being cleared ahead of the next phase of the project, which is utility relocation this fall. It is scheduled for completion next fall.
“Utility relocation processes sometimes take 18 months, but they are supposed to be through with that by next fall,” project director Scott Godefroy said. “Then they would be in a position where they could bid the project in the winter of 2014 to start construction after the first of the year.”
The connector, which will begin at Memorial Drive and end at 10th and Evans streets is set for a 30-month construction schedule with full completion expected in 2017.
The four-lane connector will widen symmetrically down Farmville Boulevard before rising into a bridge over the Dickinson Avenue railroad tracks.
“You’ll see it constructed in phases once they get started,” Godefroy said. “The bridge and storm drainage will be some of the first things you’ll see done. By the first of the year, 2015, you’ll see different activities up and down the project.”
Contact Abbie Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-329-9579. Follow her on Twitter @AbbieRBennett.
via The Daily Reflector.