Thursday, May 28, 2009

Commissioners oppose one proposed design of Currituck County Bridge

As reported in the Daily Advance, The County Commissioners do not support a concrete barrier on US 158. The full article is below:

Currituck opposes bridge design that limits Waterlily Road access
Concept ends left turns from U.S. 158
Staff Writer

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Currituck officials say they are opposed to a proposed design for the Mid-Currituck Bridge that would eliminate left turns from US Highway 158 onto Waterlily Road.

In an e-mail to a North Carolina Turnpike Authority engineer last week, County Manager Dan Scanlon said the county has concerns about the bridge design because it proposes constructing a concrete barrier on U.S. 158 between the J.P. Knapp Bridge and the site where the new bridge would be built.

If the barrier is built, motorists traveling south on U.S. 158 could not turn left onto Waterlily Road as they now do. Instead, they would have to continue south on U.S. 158, drive past the Mid-Currituck Bridge interchange and make a U-turn at the relocated Aydlett Road intersection.

Jennifer Harris, an engineer with the Turnpike Authority, said in e-mail to Scanlon that the change would mean that motorists wishing to turn left from U.S. 158 onto Waterlily Road would have a detour of about a mile.

In addition, motorists would no longer be able to turn left from Waterlily onto U.S. 158. Motorists wishing to travel southward from Waterlily Road would first have to turn right on U.S. 158 and head northward, Harris said in her e-mail. They would have to cross the Knapp Bridge, proceed to the Worth Guard Road intersection and make a U-turn, she said. From there, they would have to cross back over the Knapp Bridge a second time to get southward on U.S. 158. The barrier would require motorists to drive approximately 2.5 miles longer than they do now, Harris said.

In his e-mail, Scanlon advised Harris that county officials do not support the design.

“...Please be advised that Currituck County will go on record opposing such a design,” Scanlon wrote.

Board of Commissioners Chairman Owen Etheridge said the design does not benefit Currituck residents who will be the primary users of the road.

“I don’t see any benefit for any local residents; it only benefits the traveling public,” Etheridge said. “It’s neither convenient or safe and as a commissioner I can’t endorse the project and I won’t.”

Etheridge also points out that in emergencies, the one- and two-mile diversions may affect fire and emergency service response times.

Steve Dewitt, the Turnpike Authority’s chief engineer, said the bridge concept is just that, a concept. He said bridge designers recognize the proposed concrete divide along U.S. 158 may warrant some changes. In fact, they’re currently talking with state Department of Transportation officials to develop another design, he said.

“This is very pre-mature, for now it is just a concept,” Dewitt said. “We’re looking at different alternatives with our number one priority surrounding (driver) safety.”

Dewitt said the there is no timeline for when the final bridge design will be completed. However, the final design will include input from local governments and residents, he said.

“The bottom line is that we’re far from being done with the (plans),” Dewitt said. “We will go back to the drawing board no matter what.”

Monday, May 25, 2009

ANOTHER Stallion euthanized over Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial day weekend always brings with it a certain amount of tolerance because of irresponsibility by a few visitors and locals, but some actions are intolerable. Below is a recount of the events that took place as another stallion was hit by CWHF dirctor, Karen McCalpin.

I have just returned from the beach. The beautiful stallion that is featured in the Mary Kolliner photo in the center of our brochure and our Charter member photos is dead.. His name was Spec. He was euthanized at 2:30 p.m. His left hind leg was broken so badly it was snapped completely in two. Dr. Kite examined the leg thoroughly. It was hit from the side with great force and broken inward. There were ATV tracks all around where the horse was originally seen on the beach at 6:43 a.m. this morning. It is possible that ATV’s were being used to chase the horse and then hit him. Residents reported hearing ATV’s tearing around at 1 and 2 a.m. Spec drug himself up over the dunes over a mile from where he was first seen. I have no words to describe what the last few hours have been like for those of us who were present. If there is a tougher horse on than planet than Spec, then it’s got to be a Spanish Mustang as well. Spec did not want to die and he fought long and hard. It was gut wrenching. It was a waste. It was sickening. Someone up there right now is responsible for his death. Or perhaps, like the other horse that was hit, they left the beach for awhile, they got rid of the evidence, and they’re counting on others to cover for them.

Please, if you live up there and you see or hear something that you know is not right – call the Sherriff’s office. You don’t have to give your name. We have lost two healthy, beautiful, stallions in the last 4 weeks. Hit by people who know that they hit them. Left to suffer in agony. Help us hold them accountable. Help us keep another horse from having to die.

My deepest thanks to Steve and Hannah Rogers who came drove here from Columbia . Steve was able to use his expert marksmanship skills to dart Spec twice with tranquilizers.. Thanks to Deputy Justin Cartwright for his assistance, to Edna Baden, Kim Hoey, Jim and Ellen Rein, Brian O’Connor and Cameron Gray.

Karen H. McCalpin

Executive Director

Corolla Wild Horse Fund

P.O. Box 361

1126 Schoolhouse Lane

Corolla, NC 27927


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Outer Banks:: No more plastic bags

I rarely weigh in my opinion on the information that I post but I am proud of what Senator Basnight has done with banning the plastic bags. The Outer Banks should be a model of responsible and sustainable behavior since we market ourselves as environmentally appealing to our visitors. Here is the article from the News & Observer in Raleigh, remember, it still has to pass the House:

Outer Banks bag ban wins Senate approval

Outer Banks shoppers at large retailers would have the option of paper or nothing under a bill the Senate approved Wednesday.

The legislation, which passed 47-1, would prohibit those stores from using plastic shopping bags. Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight, a Manteo Democrat, is pushing the bill, which applies to Dare, Currituck and Hyde counties.

Basnight said the flimsy bags have turned into post-purchase tumbleweeds polluting the landscape of the Outer Banks, which relies on its landscape to attract tourists.

The bill's chief sponsor, Sen. Josh Stein, a Raleigh Democrat, described the bill as a pilot program that could go statewide. The goal is to encourage shoppers to use reusable bags, such as the cloth totes sold at grocery stores, and eventually to eliminate paper and plastic bags.

Nearly 20 states have considered or imposed legislation regulating plastic bags, but only the city of San Francisco has banned them.

Retailers argue that paper bags made from recycled material, which are permitted by the bill, cost more and that retrofitting stores that are set up for plastic bags will create costs that are passed along to customers. The wiser approach, they argue, is to encourage or even mandate recycling.

Staff writer Mark Johnson

Currituck Commissioners Corolla Town Hall Meeting

If you local or down next week and want to attend, the commissioners will be in Corolla for a rare town hall meeting. It is an opportune time to bring up issues from the bridge, 4WD road improvements, tourism dollars, Whalehead stormwater management, etc...

BOC Schedules Corolla Town Hall Meeting
The Currituck Board of Commissioners will conduct a Town Hall Meeting in Corolla on Thursday, May 21, 2009. This meeting is open to the public, and will be held at the Corolla Fire Station in Whalehead, beginning at 7:00 p.m. For more information, call 232-2075.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

NCTA on the ground conducting field work for Bridge

Information from the County website and NCTA:

May 13, 2009 - Currituck County residents may soon notice surveyors and engineers completing tasks in the area to support project development studies on the Mid-Currituck Bridge.

The North Carolina Turnpike Authority (NCTA) will be performing surveying and geotechnical work within the project corridor for the Mid-Currituck Bridge project. Engineers and surveyors representing NCTA will be working on or near local properties to perform survey tasks and obtaining subsurface information in accordance with General Statutes 136-89.194.

Property owners with questions regarding this work should contact the NCTA Chief Engineer's office at 919-571-3000.