Texas Road Bridge Replacement Project
The Town closed the Texas Road bridge to vehicular traffic in 2008, when an engineering inspection report revealed widespread timber decay. Texas Road was opened to two-way traffic from Lookout Road to Community Center Circle to improve safety near the child care center.
The Board added replacement of the bridge to the Town's five-year Capital Improvements Plan in 2009, and staff began seeking funding opportunities through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the North Carolina Transportation Plan Distribution Fund. Neither funding option proves viable. Also in 2009, the Town's engineering firm discovered that replacing the bridge in the same location would require raising the new structure between five to seven feet in order to avoid construction within the floodway and surrounding non-encroachment areas. The Board at that time agrees by consensus to construct a replacement bridge farther upstream near Well B, and maintain the existing structure for pedestrian use.
In 2010, the Town then applied for and was accepted into the Municipal Bridge Program, a joint venture between the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and Federal Highway Administration to provide 80% of the bridge's replacement costs through a reimbursement grant. A Request for Letters of Interest for an approved engineering firm was published in April 2011, followed by several months of contract price negotiations with the selected firm. Town staff attended a scoping meeting in September 2011 with NCDOT staff and KCI Associates representatives, and KCI began work on an initial project cost estimate for NCDOT approval. The Board formally approved an engineering contract with KCI Associates in August 2012.
The Board held a citizen's informational workshop in late November 2012 and mailed out comment forms to receive input from community members who were unable to attend. The presentation summarized the project’s history, purpose, study area, replacement options, state and federal agency coordination efforts, resource considerations, and completion schedule. NCDOT officials and KCI Associates representatives began preparing a Categorical Exclusion (CE) document, which is used in accordance with state and federal laws to analyze the potential community and environmental effects of the project and help the Board select from one of five potential replacement options:
The Board agreed by consensus in November 2012 to eliminate Options A and C from consideration. Town staff learned in March 2013 that historical and archeological studies would be required for replacement Options B, D and E. A change order to the engineering contract with KCI Associates to include these additional studies was approved in May 2013. In June 2013, the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office (NC SHPO) determined that the bridge was located within an eligible National Historic District, and that replacement Options B, D and E would be considered to have an adverse effect on the area. As a result, NC SHPO required a more detailed historical study and an archeological dig. The Town approved a second Supplemental Agreement for these studies in September 2013, and the studies were completed in October 2013.
The Board received a initial draft CE document for review in February 2014. At their February 26, 2014 Annual Retreat, the Board agreed by consensus to select Option B as the preferred bridge replacement location. This decision was formalized by an official vote during the March 13, 2014 Town Council Meeting. The archeological and historic structure reports were then sent to NC SHPO for review and approval in April and May 2014, and the CE document was sent to the Federal Highway Administration for review in early June 2014. KCI Associates gave an initial project design presentation during the Board's August 14, 2014 Town Council Meeting, and the final Categorical Exclusion (CE) document was prepared and submitted in January 2015.
Design plans are at 100% completion.
Right-of-way agreements are currently being developed between the utility companies and the Montreat Conference Center.
Montreat Bridge Committee Members:
Alice Lentz email@example.com
Bridge Committee Meeting are open to the public and will occur on May 3rd, May 17th and May 31st at 5:00 p.m. in the Wayout Building, 305 Lookout Road, Montreat, NC.
P. O. Box 423 | Montreat, NC 28757 | P: 828.669.8002 | F: 828.669.3810