Juniper/Trinitie culvert replacement on pause

Published 8:56 am Sunday, February 12, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Southern Shores town manager Cliff Ogburn said the planning staff is tapping the breaks for the moment on the Trinitie Trail/Juniper culvert replacement because they are looking into reducing the height of the bridge.

The current culvert is mound and earth, but the replacement planned is concrete. Lowering the bridge would help to level it out and also improve the aesthetics of the structure.

“I didn’t want anyone to be standing or driving at that location looking up at that big concrete slab and asking me, ‘Why didn’t you try to get this thing lowered?’ We’re talking 20, 30, 40, 50 hopefully years that this slab bridge is going to stay there,” said Ogburn to the town council at the February 7 regular meeting.

Get the latest headlines sent to you

The town is in the process of reaching out to the Coast Guard for permission to lower the bridge by at least two feet, and ideally up to four feet. A reduction of the bridge by four feet will still allow a clearance of eight feet, which Ogburn said was adequate to allow boats to pass underneath.

Ogburn then updated the council on various projects related to beach nourishment. The public works department is looking volunteers willing spend a day or two planting beach grass. Interested persons can contact Town Hall. The town is also planning on laying old Christmas trees on the beach between the sand fencing to augment the sand fence.

In May, Weeks Marine will lay an additional 37,500 cubic yards of sand on the beach. The project is contracted to be finished by June 15 at the latest.

In several brief items of new business, the town updated terms and definitions in the town code to be consistent with the state’s building code, then moved on to approve a transfer of 10 commercial lots at Martin’s Point back to Dare County. The town currently has extraterritorial jurisdiction of the properties, which means that they are subject to the town’s land use regulations like zoning, flood and building code, but they are not within the town limits. Based on recommendations from the planning board, the town council voted unanimously to approve the transfer of the properties back to the county.