Board Gets Update On East Erwin Drainage Improvements

River and Burton still a go; Maye Street put on hold.

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The Erwin Mayor and Board of Commissioners received an update on the East Erwin Drainage Project from town engineer William W. “Bill” Dreitzler.

The project includes replacing culverts located on River Drive, Burton Avenue and Maye Street. Phase One of the project includes River and Burton and Phase Two includes Maye Street. These areas were hard hit during Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, which resulted in flooding.

Since it was determined that construction originally planned using a 90-ton crane would not be feasible because of the separation requirements related to the overhead electric lines, the contractor had to re-price the job using culvert sections that could be installed with an excavator in lieu of the crane. Federal law prohibits cranes to operate within 20 feet of power lines.

The Erwin Board voted in February to award the bid to Temple Grading & Construction Co. of Bunnlevel for work on the three culverts. Temple submitted the lowest bid.

Mr. Dreitzler reported the new pricing left the project budget as follows: Original construction cost $481,000; additional construction cost $183,000; power relocation cost $75,000; and updated project budget $739,000.

The town worked with the Harnett County Emergency Management Department to obtain grant funding to start on Phase One (River and Burton). The N.C. Department of Emergency Management wanted the town to submit an updated estimate on the project after the initial grant funding was approved.

The initial grant for $301,000 in disaster recovery funding was from the State Disaster Recovery Act (DRA). After obtaining an updated estimate, the funding for the DRA grant had been increased to $481,000, which, at that time, was thought to allow work on Phase Two, which is Maye Street.

Because of the increase in the cost of the project, an additional $258,000 in grant allocation for the project was requested, but officials were told no additional funds were available for DRA 2017 projects.

They were told, however, the state would allow them to modify the scope of the project to include Burton Drive and River Road only while utilizing the current $481,000 in grant funding. Mr. Dreitzler said a request could be made for a Golden Leaf Grant for Phase Two (Maye Street) of the project.

“The state has had multiple discussions with Golden Leaf and has emphasized the importance of the East Erwin Drainage Improvement Plan,” Mr. Dreitzler reported. “With a timely submittal for a Golden Leaf Grant, leadership at Golden Leaf has indicated the project (Maye Street culvert) could be considered for funding at the October Golden Leaf Board meeting.”

Mr. Dreitzler said they are now ready to move forward with Phase One (River and Burton) of the project with the execution of the contracts of the building of the culverts.

“The project is getting ready to actually get started,” Mr. Dreitzler said.

He said there is a three-month lead time to build the culverts. “You won’t see anyone in the fields for about four months,” he said.

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