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Dominion Energy crews move power lines for North Boundary Canal project

Dominion Energy crews are moving four power poles and the transmission lines they support near North Boundary Canal in Columbia.

The work is a first step toward installation of a much larger culvert in the canal and an elevated North Road Street, both designed as flood control measures.

The street and surrounding properties between Green Street and Cemetery Road and a wider area after prolonged heavy rainfall, become inundated frequently because the partially clogged culvert cannot pass water through quickly enough to prevent backup.

Town manager Rhett White told the Columbia Board of Aldermen on April 2 that relocating six water, sewer and natural gas lines lying beneath the canal will be the next steps. Also involved are moving telephone and television/internet cable lines.

White said a foot bridge will be constructed on the east side of Road Street so pedestrians can reach Crossroads Fuel Service office and residences north of the canal.

Tyrrell Volunteer Fire Department’s main station is north of the canal, as are three nearby cemeteries. North Road Street is the main artery to the northern sections of Tyrrell County and properties along the Albemarle Sound shore.

White predicted that one-lane vehicle traffic will be maintained throughout most of the project period, but that a full closure of North Road Street could last as long as one week.

The town has asked NC Department of Transportation to construct a sidewalk across the canal as part of the project, something that does not exist now.

The vehicle detour around the work site is approximately 20 miles over US 64, Old 64 Road, Newfoundland Road, Sound Side Road, New Road, and North Road Street Extension.

The Tyrrell County Board of Commissioners, which is heading up the project, adopted a $730,000 budget last May for enlarging the culvert and elevating the street over the new culvert in order “to prevent localized flooding and overtopping.”

The budget shows a county contribution of $25,000 plus a $400,000 grant and $305,000 from NC Department of Transportation.

North Road Street is inside the town limits, but it is an NCDOT-maintained state secondary road (SR 1209). Moreover, the county commissioners have a voice in all secondary road projects in Tyrrell County.

The commissioners also contracted with Rivers & Associates, an engineering firm in Greenville, for $62,500 to oversee the bidding and construction phases of the project.