Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo began the Oct. 2 meeting of the Wilmington City Council by addressing major traffic jams caused by the closing of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge on Sept. 30. He said NCDOT had prepared documents for immediate release, apologizing and informing the public of more planned nighttime bridge closures from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Oct. 10 and 11.
The council unanimously passed an ordinance making supplemental appropriation from its capital projects fund in the amount of $976,385 to the North Third Street Streetscape project after core samples removed from 33 locations during construction showed the need for more extensive repairs to the roadway. This will allow for 3-inch paving, lasting a minimum of 10 years before needing repaving or repairs, as opposed to the original 1.5-inch paving which could require touch-ups in as little as three to five years.
The city transferred the funds from its capital balances fund, which is money left over from previous projects. Deputy city manager Tony Caudle said the city borrowed money in the past to complete several projects, and had since refinanced interest rates, which resulted in leftover money when the projects were finished.
“Much in the same way you would refinance your house when you get an opportunity for a lower interest rate ... We were able to go back and get a better interest rate, and some of those bonds have been paid off,” Caudle said.
The council also unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the $5.6 million construction contract for the Randall Parkway Widening project. This contract was awarded to Sealand Contractors Corp. of Charlotte, the same contractor handling the North Third Street Project.
The Randall Parkway project from Independence Boulevard to South College Road will alleviate heavy traffic between Kerr Avenue and South College Road, and allow for further traffic growth. The project would also extend the Gary Shell Cross-City Trail between Brailsford Drive and Marlboro Street. When complete, the Cross-City Trail will stretch for 15 miles between Wade Park and the Heide Trask Drawbridge.