Riverwalk Boardwalk Construction Starts in Hillsborough
Tags: Town Press Release
Pieces for the two bridges in Riverwalk Phase II were delivered Feb. 20. This 50-foot section is one of two pieces for the bridge by the Eno River Parking Deck, where the formal Riverwalk entrance will be located.
Boardwalk construction starts today, Feb. 28, for the second phase of the Town of Hillsborough’s Riverwalk, a 1.8-mile greenway along the Eno River.
A low-level boardwalk will lead from the trail’s formal entrance by the Eno River Parking Deck, off Nash and Kollock Street, to existing trails in River Park in downtown Hillsborough. Included in the construction starting today will be a viewing platform on the opposite side of the Eno River, which will be accessed by Faribault Lane. Both the boardwalk and viewing platform will be built with Southern yellow pine harvested from North Carolina and Georgia.
“Our design team thought a low boardwalk would be a nice design feature and easier to maintain,” Hillsborough Planner Stephanie Trueblood said of the project just south of the Gateway Center, where Weaver Street Market is located.
The boardwalk will be built about 8 inches above the ground through a wet area that isn’t suitable for paving. It will be built using “top-down” construction, a process that keeps heavy equipment off the ground.
The construction will start on dry land, where piles for the boardwalk’s foundation will be driven into the ground by a tractor with a vibratory hammer. A section of boardwalk will be built, which then will support the tractor as it positions more building material. Construction will continue linearly.
Top-down construction is an environmentally friendly method of construction as it causes less disturbance to a site. Hillsborough Stormwater Manager Terry Hackett advocated its use in the Eno River floodplain. By disturbing less area, the top-down technique helps maintain the soil’s ability to take in stormwater, reducing the risk of sediment entering the river and adversely affecting aquatic habitat. Use of the method also will reduce construction costs and time as it requires less metal hardware and allows for faster timber-to-timber connections. “So it was a win-win for everybody,” the planner said.
In case you missed it, the two 100-foot prefabricated steel bridges for Riverwalk Phase II were delivered last week, on Feb. 20.
You’ll be able to catch some of the action in the latest installment of “What’s Happenin’ Hillsborough,” a video series produced and hosted by Assistant Utilities Director Will Baker. The video on the bridges is featured on the town’s government access channel — Time Warner Channel 97-4 — and should be posted next week on the town’s website.
The bridges arrived in four 50-foot sections, with the first piece delivered at about 10 a.m. to the end of Nash and Kollock Street by the parking deck. About 20 people viewed the delivery from the upper levels of the parking deck and around it. The second bridge section for that site was delivered around noon.
The sections of bridge that will connect with the existing covered boardwalk at Hillsborough’s Gold Park in West Hillsborough were delivered to the end of Faribault Lane, off Exchange Park Lane, at about 1:45 p.m. A handful of people watched the delivery and unloading from across the river by Calvin Street.
The bridge sections were lifted from the beds of tractor-trailer trucks by a crane and placed end to end on stacked timbers to allow for assembly. Over the next week or two, the bridges will be assembled on site and inspected and the bridge abutments will be completed. A larger crane, tall enough to lift the bridges over the treetops, will place the two bridges on the abutments in March. Boardwalk construction attaching the trail to the bridge ends and paving of the greenway will take place after the bridges are built.
Still a Construction Zone
You’re excited and interested in Riverwalk! We are, too! But remember, the Phase II greenway is still a construction zone. Please stay out of the area for your safety. And please call 911 if you see any suspicious activity.
Construction of Riverwalk Phase II began in October and is on schedule to be completed by this fall. The greenway’s first portion opened in 2009, with nearly 1 mile of paved loop trails in Gold Park, located on Dimmocks Mill Road. Phase II is a 1-mile greenway with loop trails to provide additional public access to Gold Park and to connect the park to trails in River Park. River Park is bordered by East Margaret Lane and Churton Street, opposite the Gateway Center on Nash and Kollock Street.
Riverwalk Phase II will consist of 8-foot-wide paved multi-use paths as well as 5-foot-wide paved secondary trails and will be the primary route for the N.C. Mountains-to-Sea Trail. It will be the first section of the statewide trail system to be constructed in Orange County and one of the few sections located in an urban environment.
The estimated Phase II construction cost is $1.86 million, partially funded by a $425,000 grant from the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund. The Town of Hillsborough awarded the Phase II construction contract to D.H. Griffin Construction Co., which has been acquired by The Hurley Group. Summit Design and Engineering Services is providing design, engineering and construction administration.