Work on the N.C. 150 Bridge renovation project should be completed “by June or July,” a spokesman for the contractor says.
Scott Brother, a representative with American Bridge Co., told members of the Lake Norman Marine Commission recently that all of the lead paint protecting the steelwork on the underside of the bridge had been removed on the west side of the bridge, and priming for the new protective paint had been applied.
In addition, repairs to the steelwork would be completed soon, with the protective paint going on soon after that.
“There’s a lot of intricate work there, a lot of intricate welding, and all of it checked by X-rays,” Brother said.
Up next in the renovation project, according to Brother, will be the removal of old paint from the steelwork on the east side of the bridge, making whatever necessary repairs are needed, then re-priming and repainting the steelwork.
Brother said the final step in the project will be the removal of 1.25 inches of the existing concrete roadway using a process called “hydro-demolition.” The roadway would then be replaced with a high-strength latex-concrete mixture that can withstand 8,000 pounds per square inch of force.
In other business at the Feb. 9 meeting of the Lake Norman Marine Commission:
Commissioners took a step needed to fix a bureaucratic oversight that has been unresolved for nearly three decades.
The Marine Commission voted 4-0 to approve a request by Aqua America’s North Carolina division to Duke Energy for a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission permit for the effluent lines to Lake Norman from four small wastewater treatment plants it operates.
The wastewater treatment plants had been built by former owner Mid-South Water Systems Inc. in the late 1980s to provide water and sewage treatment services for several small communities that did not have municipal services available, and could not get permitting for septic tank systems.
According to Laurie Ison, Aqua America’s area manager for western North Carolina, the four treatment plants received the proper permits from the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
But Aqua, which acquired the facilities in 2004 from Heater Utilities, which bought Mid-South in 1999, learned last year that the effluent discharge lines had not received the proper permits from Duke Energy and FERC.
“In a nutshell, I’m here to clean up somebody else’s mess,” Ison said. “It came to our attention last summer that these conveyances were required and had never been received. That’s when we started working with Duke Energy, going through the process of asking for the conveyances.
“The effluent lines are in the water, and they’ve been operating for 30 years. The current discharge is significantly less than what is permitted for. We’re here as a cleanup matter, trying to make sure we’ve got all the T’s crossed and I’s dotted.”
The wastewater treatment plants operated by Aqua on Lake Norman are located in Mooresville, serving the Alexander Island and Bridgeport/Castaways residential developments; in Sherrills Ford at the Spinnaker Bay development, and in Statesville serving the Windemere development.
According to the most-recent permits issued by DENR in 2010, the four wastewater treatment plants are allowed a maximum daily discharge of 197,500 gallons per day. However, Ison told marine commissioners that the actual daily discharges have been below the permitted maximums, and that should not increase in the future.
“Those wastewater treatment plants serve specific subdivisions, and at the time they were built, they were in a very rural area,” Ison said. “Since that time, the city of Mooresville and some of the other municipalities have annexed much larger areas. So new development is being handled by the municipalities. We’re not anticipating any growth offsite, save maybe one or two (additional connections).”
With the Marine Commission’s approval, the next step in the FERC licensing process is now in the hands of Duke Energy, which holds the management permit from FERC for Lake Norman and the Catawba River chain. From there, the application will go to FERC for its final approval or disapproval.
According to Robertson, the training scenario would involve a fire and rescue aboard the “Lady of the Lake” charter boat, and would involve all of the lake area’s law enforcement, fire and rescue departments.
“It’s going to be a huge scenario,” Robertson said.
LNWC plans Spring Fling
The Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists will hold a special Earth Day event from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 18 at LangTree Lake Norman, 401 Langtree Road, Mooresville.
The theme of the Wildlife Conservationist’s Earth Day program is “All Things Nature.” Featured will be exhibits from local nurseries, landscapers, outdoor specialty stores and other outdoor-themed organizations.
In addition, participants can learn how to construct a wildlife-friendly yard, experts will hold seminars on subjects like “Bird-Brained Gardening” and “Aliens Among Us,” and music, food and beverages, and hand-on crafts will also be available.